OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday admitted he should not be making stupid jokes in public after a quip last week prompted the scorn of conservative commentators in the United States and elsewhere.
During a town hall in Edmonton, Trudeau interrupted a woman after she used the word “mankind”, saying he preferred “peoplekind”. Critics accused Trudeau of being too politically correct.
The incident was the latest attempt at failed humor by the 46-year-old prime minister.
“You all know that I don’t necessarily have the best of track records on jokes. I made a dumb joke a few days ago that seems to have gone a little viral,” he told reporters in Ottawa, mentioning the “peoplekind” remark.
“It played well in the room and in context. Out of context it doesn’t play so well and it’s a little reminder to me that I shouldn’t be making jokes even when I think they’re funny.”
Political opponents and commentators have in the past complained that Trudeau lacks the gravitas needed to be a national leader.
In his first public remarks after a devastating wildfire ripped through an Albertan oil-producing region in 2016, he began with a quip about the “Star Wars” movie franchise.
In October 2014, when he was still in opposition, Trudeau criticized the then Conservative government for joining the coalition against Islamic State. He said humanitarian aid was better than “trying to whip out our (fighter jets) and show them how big they are”.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Susan Thomas)