Bring it on, says Opposition Leader Brian Pallister on an NDP plan to launch a new series of TV attack ads against him.
"The NDP running attack ads doesn’t bother me," he told reporters today. "It’s not a reflection on me — it’s a reflection on their desperation. I’m not afraid of it."
The TV ads are to be shown first Feb. 8 at the AGM in Winnipeg and are intended to poke a hole in Pallister’s balloon as Premier Greg Selinger’s popularity sags in public opinion polls.
Sources have said the ads will run during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Pallister also said he has no worries about how the ads might portray him.
"I’ve got a record. They can consult the record and they can have at 'er," he said this afternoon outside his office. "The reality is they’re running from their own record and everybody knows it."
NDP House Leader Andrew Swan said the ads will convey the truth about Pallister, who he described as a willing participant in the former Tory government of Gary Filmon and its cutting of essential government services during the 1990s.
"It’s about giving people information," Swan said. "Brian Pallister, as I see by his comments where he has a record, he sure does have a record. His record is reckless cuts to the public service, record-setting cuts to things that people depended on when he was in Gary Filmon’s cabinet. Manitoba has changed a lot since then. Brian Pallister has not changed one bit."
Swan said he hadn’t seen the ads, but saw the concept for them.
"I’m very glad that the Manitoba NDP is going to provide Manitobans with more information so they can make an informed choice," Swan said.
The ads are to air almost two years away from the next general election. That could come in fall 2015, but if the Harper government calls a federal election for the fall of 2015, the Manitoba election would be delayed until the following April.
Pallister said his party’s own recent advertising can’t be compared to what the NDP has up its sleeve.
"Advertising is fine. The issue here is the nature of the advertising. Nobody has asked any questions about our advertising because it’s based on fact."