Kevin O’Leary bailed on another Conservative leadership debate, and Twitter was mad
On Sunday, Kevin O’Leary skipped another Conservative leadership debate. In itself, the move wasn’t shocking: O’Leary has been playing by his own peculiar rulebook throughout the campaign, piggybacking on his reality TV celebrity to communicate directly with supporters on Facebook and continuing to make appearances on American TV news shows.
The interesting thing about O’Leary’s latest debate-dodge was his excuse for skipping out: his campaign told reporters that O’Leary had to miss the event because he needed to spend time with family in Florida, for his wedding anniversary. And yet, even with all those family commitments on his plate, he somehow found time to do a guest spot on MSNBC. Twitter’s wrath was not long in coming. Here’s some of the best of it.
It was a matter of hours before people began noticing that O’Leary had made an American TV appearance, despite his ostensible need for family time:
Kevin O'Leary celebrates his wedding anniversary. You old romantic, Kev. https://t.co/7q7bMNvEIe
— Paul Wells (@InklessPW) April 3, 2017
It didn’t help that the Conservative party’s attack ads against former Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, which portrayed him as a conscienceless American carpetbagger, are still fresh in everyone’s memories:
memo to Kevin O'Leary: at least Ignatieff stayed in Canada and actually showed up to the events and debates.
This is insulting.
— Name Can't Be Blank (@RosalindR) April 3, 2017
Yup, people are still pretty bitter about that ad campaign:
O'Leary is literally just the person the Conservatives pretended Ignatieff was.
— Emily (@emilydawnlove) April 3, 2017
O’Leary does seem to spend a lot of time south of the border—at least for someone who aspires to the highest job in Canadian government:
Kevin O'Leary had been in Canada for 5 days. It was unreasonable of debate organizers to expect him to stay in Canada for an entire week.
— Rob Silver (@RobSilver) April 2, 2017
Some have begun to question the intelligence of the Conservative caucus:
So Kevin O'Leary skips a leadership debate to appear on a US show & there are Conservatives stupid enough to support him? Ugh. #cdnpoli
— Medie (@medie) April 3, 2017
Others have begun to question O’Leary’s devotion to his wife:
After he loses the #cpcldr race, O'Leary will have ample time to spend with his wife.
That poor woman.
— Alheli Picazo (@a_picazo) April 3, 2017
And one person noted that Kevin and Linda’s anniversary seems to have fallen on a different date a few years ago:
— Janice Dickson (@janicedickson) April 3, 2017
Not long after all of this, the internet learned that Kevin O’Leary had told an interviewer that he would likely bail on the Conservative party if it failed to capture a majority in the next election. Was there more outrage? Do you even have to ask?
I make more of a commitment to the brand of toilet paper I buy than Kevin O'Leary does to being CPC leader. https://t.co/w1F4do9LCB
— CC (@canadiancynic) April 3, 2017
It is fun to picture O’Leary walking away from a minority government, though:
"And Kevin O'Leary wins, just 2 seats shy of a majority. The next PM: Kevin O'Leary.
What's this? PM-Designate O'Leary has resigned." https://t.co/o4XRi83YX3
— Mike Gibbs (@Mikeggibbs) April 3, 2017
Finally, a sobering thought:
It's fun so many of the pundits treat O'Leary like he's a huge joke as if he isn't going to win the nomination because people are horrible
— Dave Atkinson (@davyay) April 3, 2017