What did Trump and Biden say about Canada?


OTTAWA – On November 3, 2020, Americans will choose whether they want four more years from U.S. President Donald Trump – or prefer to hand over the presidency to Democratic candidate Joe Biden. But as Canada watches from behind the scenes, one can’t help but wonder – what did the two presidential candidates say about us?

As the saying goes, when the United States sneezes, Canada catches a cold. And when US presidential candidates mention their neighbors to the north, we tend to grab the popcorn.

From Trump asking if Canadians burned down the White House in 1812, to Biden calling Canada America’s “big brother”, CTVNews.ca took a look at some notable quotes from Biden and Trump on Canada – and our Prime Minister – over the years.


Then-Vice President Biden said the words during a dinner with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on December 8, 2016, during his visit to Ottawa. During the dinner, which took place a month after Trump became president-elect, Biden called on Trudeau to be an advocate for international ‘rules of the road’ given the uncertainty he said was encroaching on the world at the time.

He also had very kind words for Canadians, extolling the brotherly relationship of the two countries.

“The way I see our relationship – and I know sometimes we’re like the big brother that’s painful and bossy – and I mean it sincerely. I understand. But we are more like family, even allies. Biden said at the time.

During the speech, Biden explained that few countries have as much in common as Canada and the United States, because countries are “from the same root.”

He also warned of an imminent period of threats to “liberal international order” – the most seen since World War II.

“We’re going through this time because we’re Americans and Canadians,” Biden said.

“And I also had a drink, I would give you a toast and say: Long live Canada.”


“… But they took advantage of our country for many years! It was a tweet from Trump on September 1, 2018, while the NAFTA negotiations were underway. On the same day, Trump also noted that there was “no political need to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal.”

The negotiations that led Canada, Mexico and the United States to the new NAFTA have proved tumultuous when it comes to Trump’s comments on Canada. He hesitated a lot on Twitter between decrying Canada’s management of the negotiations and congratulating them. Barely a month after declaring that Canadians were profiting from the United States, the three countries found common ground and forged a revamped trilateral trade deal on September 30, 2018.

“Mexico, Canada and the United States are a formidable partnership and will be a formidable trade force. We will now, thanks to USMCA, work very well together. Great mind! Trump tweeted on October 3, 2018.

However, that attitude eventually changed once again – when Trump noticed that his cameo in Home Alone 2: Lost In New York had been cut from the film’s CBC airing.

“I guess Justin T doesn’t like me making him pay NATO or trade!” Trump tweeted in response on Dec. 26, 2019. CBC actually cut the stage in 2014 to make room for commercials.


The presidential hopeful caused a stir in Canada when Canadians learned he planned to tear up Trump’s Keystone XL pipeline approvals once he was sworn in. Former President Barack Obama initially rejected the section of pipeline that was to be built on American soil – but Trump approved the project in January this year.

“Stopping Keystone was the right decision back then and it’s still the right decision now. In fact, it’s even more important today, ”Biden policy director Stef Feldman said in a written statement sent to The Canadian Press.

While environmentalists welcomed the announcement, others – including Alberta Premier Jason Kenney – were not thrilled to learn of Biden’s plan. However, if Biden wins the election, Kenney is not ready to make the decision by folding.

“We will use all the tools at our disposal to bring this project to fruition,” the Prime Minister said on July 3. “We took a conscious risk of starting construction, creating facts on the ground, and we look forward to working with the many keys. leaders in the United States to support this. ”


In 2018, in the midst of the NAFTA negotiations, Trump imposed tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum imports. The trade dispute has seen tariffs swing back and forth between the two countries, including Canada’s decision to cut tariffs on a wide range of American products, including quiche, mayonnaise and toilet paper .

Before the 2018 G7 summit, there was a reportedly difficult phone call between Trump and Trudeau. During the call, according to CNN reports, Trudeau urged Trump to provide an explanation for using national security as the justification for the tariffs.

“Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” The president reportedly replied, according to CNN.

The comment referred to the War of 1812, in which British – not Canadian – troops attacked the White House.


It was a moment heard around the world when Trudeau and a handful of other world leaders were caught on a microphone chatting about Trump – and they weren’t exchanging compliments on the president’s hair.

Instead, the video, which was shot at a reception at Buckingham Palace on December 3, shows British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asking French President Emmanuel Macron why he was late. In response, Trudeau quipped: “he was late because he took a 40-minute press conference over it.”

Although the president is never mentioned by name, Trump had answered several questions from reporters at an unscheduled press conference ahead of meetings with Trudeau, Macron and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Trudeau went on to say, without clear context, that “you just saw his team’s jaws drop to the ground.”

The footage grabbed headlines around the world, but while the fallout from the footage was still setting in the next day, Biden released an attack announcement using snippets from the video to claim the world “Laughs” at the president.

Two seconds after the attack commercial began, Trudeau appeared onscreen chatting about the president – before the commercial turned into voice clips alleging Trump’s incompetence.

However, despite Biden’s use of these images, the photographed relationship between Trudeau and the presidential election seems close – at least, if the photo on Biden’s vice-presidential instagram feed is anything passing.


Trump had his own reaction to the gossip session heard around the world. In the wake of the hot mic footage leaked, Trump criticized Trudeau.

“Well, he has two faces,” the president said on December 4.

Trump then speculated on Trudeau’s motivation for engaging in gossip – namely, Canada’s inability to meet the recommended defense spending target of 2% of gross domestic product.

“Trudeau, he’s a nice guy. I think he’s a nice guy, but the truth is I called him about the fact that he isn’t paying 2 percent, and I guess he’s not very happy. I mean, you were there. Two of you were there, ”Trump told reporters.

Criticism was another blow to a difficult relationship between the two leaders. In a tweet sent after the June G7 meeting, Trump said Trudeau had acted “soft and gentle” at G7 meetings to call the tariffs “insulting” at press conferences after the fact.

“Very dishonest and weak,” Trump tweeted at the time.

However, by the time Trudeau was re-elected in October 2019, Trump appeared to have changed his mind.

” Congratulation to [Justin Trudeau] on a wonderful and hard-fought victory. Canada is well served. I look forward to working with you for the betterment of our two countries! Trump tweeted on October 22 last year.

On November 3, Trudeau will likely send a similar congratulatory message to one of these two – kicking off plenty of other quotes, for better or for worse.


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