What follows is a transcript from Wolf Blitzer’s morning show on CNN about Bush’s visit to Canada. While Carolyn Parrish has sometimes shown the more extreme side of anti-American sediment that she claims is not aimed at the citizens of the United States, but more at its foreign policy and its current administration.
Personally, I am all for people breaking ranks with their party and speaking their mind. I don’t think that Parrish is a model citizen for trying to get the US to care about our opinions, but I am glad to see that there are still rebels in Ottawa who are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in.
Anyways, read and enjoy. And maybe send some email to Tucker Carlson informing him that Canada is not the dog sledding paradise he thinks it is.
BLITZER: He has his work cut out for him. Joining us now from Ottawa is the Canadian parliament member, Carolyn Paris. She was expelled from the Liberal Party for what Prime Minister Martin called “unacceptable behavior,” which included a recent stomping of the George W. Bush doll. And here in Washington, Tucker Carlson, he is the Canada-baiting co-host of CNN’s “CROSSFIRE.” He has suggested that our northern neighbor, in his words, is a third-rate country. We’ll get to Tucker in a moment. Let’s begin with Carolyn Parrish.
Thanks very much for joining us. We’re going to show our viewers that picture of you stomping that George W. Bush doll. What were you trying to prove?
PARRISH: Actually, I was making fun of myself. We have a program up here called “This Hour Has 22 Minutes.” And they love to get politicians to do bizarre things, like put rollers in their hair and jump into bed with strange people. And they kept giving me direction and I kept following it.
BLITZER: So, you apologize for that?
BLITZER: Why not?
PARRISH: Because I was making fun of myself. It was a parody on me and my anti-Bush position. And if you can’t make fun of yourself in this business, then it’s time to get out of it.
BLITZER: What about the sound bite that — we’ll play it right now. I want you to listen to what you said about this coalition the president has been trying to put together.
PARRISH: I’ve heard it before.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PARRISH: We are not joining the coalition of the idiots.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: All right. Give us the context of that.
PARRISH: Well, I was speaking to a large crowd on the steps of the House of Commons. There were a lot of people there protesting against Canada’s joining missile defense and I happened to agree with them. General Gard (ph) came up from the States, representing 48 former military people, and I had spoken with him about it. We also had Professor Postal (ph) from MIT telling us this isn’t going to work. And I think it is an increase to weaponization of space. I think it’s a very bad idea. And the coalition of idiots I was referring to I think were mostly the politicians in my own government.
BLITZER: All right. So you don’t consider President Bush an idiot?
PARRISH: No. How could he rise to the top job in the country by being an idiot?
BLITZER: Tucker Carlson, what do you think of this latest twist in the U.S.-Canadian relationship?
TUCKER CARLSON, CO-HOST, “CROSSFIRE”: Oh, well, I mean, it’s part of an ongoing sort of battle that the U.S. doesn’t really participate in. I think you get the sense that Canadians think much more about the United States than the United States thinks about Canada.
I think, you know, Canadians are nice people, it’s a nice country, but it’s a country in the grip of a national insecurity complex. Canada needs the United States for trade, for a lot of reasons. Without the U.S., Canada is essentially Honduras, but colder and much less interesting. And I think that that makes Canadians — the dependence that Canada has on the United States makes Canadians understandably resentful.
BLITZER: Carolyn Parrish, those are fighting words.
PARRISH: Oh Tucker, you’re way out to lunch on this one, my friend. Most of the top six things you buy from us are raw materials: hydro, gas, oil. You need us more than we need you.
CARLSON: We exploit your natural resources, that’s true. But in the end, Canadians with ambition move to the United States. That has been sort of the trend for decades. It says something not very good about Canada. And I think it makes Canadians feel bad about themselves and I understand that.
PARRISH: No. I don’t agree with you, Tucker. I think Canadians who have a good social conscience and are more European in their outlook live here quite happily.
CARLSON: I bet.
PARRISH: Those who want to make huge bucks and not worry about where they’re coming from go to the States. And we’re glad to be rid of them.
CARLSON: Well, with that attitude, no wonder they leave. I concede that.
PARRISH: No wonder.
BLITZER: What is the attitude now, Carolyn Parrish, in Canada, President Bush has been re-elected, there’s a bigger Republican majority in the House as well as in the Senate, has there been an accommodation, if you will? Are Canadians ready to accept this American president?
PARRISH: Listen. We accept the democratic process. And that was why I was interviewed the day after the election. And I said the people of the United States have clearly spoken. I think this was a non-controverted result and I think as good neighbors, we will wait patiently for another four years.
BLITZER: I was in Ottawa 10 years ago or so, then-President Clinton spoke before the parliament.
PARRISH: Yes, he did.
BLITZER: He was pretty warmly received. You noticed this time, Tucker and Carolyn, the president of the United States is not speaking before the parliament in Ottawa. Carolyn Parrish, why is that?
PARRISH: I think Mr. Clinton shared a lot of our values. He talked about Medicare and he talked about banning weapons. He said that he envied us our gun laws. So he was more simpatico with the Canadian people. And he was very warmly received. He’s a very terrific guy?
BLITZER: Would you have heckled President Bush had he come into the parliament?
PARRISH: Absolutely — no, no, no. I’m not a heckler. I don’t heckle anybody.
BLITZER: Would your colleagues have heckled him?
PARRISH: I don’t think so either. I think the reason Mr. Bush didn’t address the parliament is was they were having a hard time finding common ground that he could talk about. We do not support the war in Iraq. We are not impressed with 100,000 dead Iraqis. We’re not impressed with 1,000 dead American soldiers. So, what would be the basis of the conversation? We couldn’t solve softwood lumber in a speech in the House of Commons. We couldn’t solve the beef problem. So there was no common ground for a speech.
BLITZER: What about — Tucker, I was going to say to you, what does it say that the president of the United States on an official state visit to Canada, the first time in a decade, doesn’t address the parliament?
CARLSON: Well, you know, he doesn’t want to get heckled. That’s right. I’m glad to hear Ms. Parrish is not a heckler, merely a person who stomps on dolls. You’ve got to have standards. And I appreciate yours. No, look. Just simply because the United States and Canada disagree about the war in Iraq and they do doesn’t mean they can’t have productive conversations. I mean, the United States and China talk about all sorts of things. We’re major trading partners. And I think in the end, it only hurts Canada, these attacks on the United States. Again, just to restate a pretty obvious point that I know is foremost on your mind, Ms. Parrish, Canada needs the United States. The United States does not need Canada. But you need us. And so to alienate our administration is probably not such a good idea.
PARRISH: Tucker, that’s a really bad attitude, my friend…
CARLSON: It’s true.
PARRISH: I think we need each other. I think we have got a long-term trade partnership. I think both countries benefit from that partnership. And when you say to us, we don’t need you, that’s not a way to make friends…
CARLSON: In fact, it’s not even a value judgment, it’s simply a recognition of economic reality. Of course it’s good for the United States to trade with Canada, but it’s vital for Canada to trade with the United States. So you gain nothing by alienating the administration.
PARRISH: It’s pretty vital for California to take our hydro-oil (ph). I think it would be dark the next day. I think this is not a productive conversation. I think we’re long-term friends, we are long-term trade partners. And we will weather this recent storm. We are fundamentally opposed to might is right and brute force and preemptive attacks on other countries. That’s fundamental in Canada.
CARLSON: Well, you have the benefit of being protected by the United States and you can say that. But I think if Canada were responsible for its own security — you would be invaded by Norway if it weren’t for the United States and so you…
PARRISH: We’re a very secure nation because we haven’t ticked off the rest of the world. We march with the world. We’re not out of step.
BLITZER: Tucker, don’t you believe that this 3,000-mile border that the United States shares with Canada that it’s imperative that the U.S. has a friendly ally on the other side?
CARLSON: Oh, of course. In the end, the countries are friendly. There are some French politicians who get something out of…
BLITZER: But when you say the United States doesn’t need Canada, the United States has a 3,000-mile border with Canada.
CARLSON: My only point is as a matter of trade, Canada is far more dependent on the U.S. than the U.S. is on Canada. That’s simply a fact, again, not even a value judgment. But of course the United States needs a good relationship with Canada and I suspect it will always have one unless some separatist government comes to power and the country splits into two, which is always possible. But short of that, no, absolutely the countries will remain allies and there will always be politicians who see it to their benefit to stomp on Bush dolls. But no, I don’t think the average Canadian feels — the average Canadian is busy dogsledding. You know that.
PARRISH: That is such — that’s such a caricature and you have to understand from this lowly backbencher that shouldn’t even be on your show, I am of total insignificance within my own party and within the country, you’re sure putting up a lot of fuss and putting a lot of attention on this. It shows a very weak ego, in my opinion. I think if you’re as strong as you say you are, anything I have got to say can’t hurt you.
BLITZER: I will point out to our viewers as well as to Carolyn Parrish that Tucker Carlson often speaks with tongue in cheek. Is that a fair assessment, Tucker? Just want to make sure our viewers don’t literally believe that every word that you’re saying.
CARLSON: I don’t think every Canadian is dogsledding at all times but I do think there’s a lot of dogsledding in Canada. Yes, I do think that’s true.
PARRISH: Very little, my friend.
CARLSON: You know that’s true, Carolyn. (UNINTELLIGIBLE). But there’s a lot of dogsledding.
PARRISH: No, there’s not a lot of dogsledding. There’s a lot of dog walking, my friend. Not a lot of dogsledding.
CARLSON: Welcome to our century.
BLITZER: There’s some dogsledding in the United States as well, including the beautiful state of Alaska. Tucker Carlson speaking tongue in cheek sometimes, not always. Sometimes.
Carolyn Parrish, you’re an important guest. All of our guests are important. Thanks very much for joining us.
PARRISH: Thank you, Wolf. I’ve enjoyed it. Thank you, Tucker.
CARLSON: Thanks. Thanks a lot, Carolyn. See you in Canada.
BLITZER: U.S.-Canadian relations, a very, very important subject to all of our viewers, both south and north of the U.S. border.