Stephen Harper and I actually agree on something: the current turmoil in the stock market really only presents some great buying opportunities for those of us who have the time to ride out the volatility. I said previously that when stocks are low is when you should load up on bargains, but I also said that for those who were close to retirement or in retirement, that this would not be a great situation because much of their nest egg has been destroyed.
But never would I go on national television during a federal election in which I was quickly losing ground to my opponents and say the following to Peter Mansbridge, one of Canada's most respected newsanchors:
Harper: "The market will sort itself out. I suspect some good buying opportunities are opening up with some of the panic we've seen in the stock market in the last few days."
Mansbridge: "Do you really want to be heard saying that? Are you suggesting people should be buying?"
Harper: "I..I...I....just happened to attend a business luncheon where a number of businessmen said exactly the same to me. We always know that when stock markets go up people end up buying things that are overpriced and then when the stock markets go down people end up passing on a lot of things that are underpriced."
Brilliant, Steve-O! Your main opponents have been pounding away on you that you are out of touch with average Canadians, that you lack empathy and an ability to connect with the average voter, and you pull out that show stopper. Terrific. I mean, it is not that there was anything factually incorrect with what you said. In fact, for once, you were telling the truth. But, ouch, what a bad time to pull that one out.
The Liberals and NDP leaped all over that one. Stephane Dion said "Rather than acknowledging the fear and hurt being felt by Canadians, Stephen Harper said yesterday that he saw buying opportunities in the stock market. He is completely out of touch with the impact the current economic turmoil is having on the lives of everyday Canadians."
Way to dish it up on a silver platter buddy. Keep it coming! I love this stuff.
(The above quotes were taken from the audio podcast version of Politics with Don Newman on CBC. Yes, I am a nerd. I listen to this on podcast every evening.)