There's a surprising new star making a cameo appearance in Conservative ads attacking Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff: his name is Justin Trudeau.
French-language TV ads that have begun airing in Quebec show the rookie MP blasting a few volleys of friendly fire at his leader.
The ads include clips from an interview Mr. Trudeau did during the 2006 Liberal leadership race.
Mr. Trudeau was not yet an MP at the time but, being the son of the most revered figure in the party, his comments about Mr. Ignatieff made headlines during the race.
Mr. Trudeau had endorsed Gerard Kennedy and was particularly critical of the front-runner.
"Ignatieff, he's a little all over the place sometimes," Mr. Trudeau says in the spot, in a clip drawn from a 2006 TV interview.
"He says this, he says that - he contradicts himself."
Mr. Trudeau then delivers this little parting shot: "For me, he's not someone with... maybe he has the intelligence, but maybe not the wisdom required."
At the time, the young Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Ignatieff had crossed swords over whether Quebec should be recognized as a nation - something Mr. Ignatieff supported.
The ad's narrator ends the spot by asking viewers: "Liberals themselves doubt [Mr. Ignatieff's]judgment. How can we trust him?"
Ironically, Mr. Ignatieff is now getting a taste of the same medicine he unwittingly dished out once to his own leader.
Conservative ads before the last election showed Mr. Ignatieff, from the same leadership race, criticizing Stéphane Dion's environmental record, saying: "Stéphane, we didn't get it done."
When asked about the new spots, Mr. Ignatieff responded with kind remarks about his new MP.
He tried using the episode as evidence he was more collegial than Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who keeps a notoriously tight leash on his caucus.
"As compared to Mr. Harper, I can work very well with people who have opinions that differ from mine," he said.
"Justin Trudeau is a man with a remarkable future in the party and I'm proud that he's part of my team and that's all I have to say."
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