Harper Swears at Obama — Hangs Up on Phone Call Over Keystone XL Veto
WASHINGTON — U.S. media reports today say that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper used “very undiplomatic language” and then hung up on a courtesy call from President Obama to confirm that he will veto the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline.
“Harper Calls Obama a Total Dickwad” read the New York Times online headline.
“Obama F-Bombed by Canadian PM” said USA Today.
“Obama Gets Taken to the Wood Shed by Canada’s Harper” read the Breaking News headline on Fox News.
The heated exchange between the two leaders, who are widely seen as intensely disliking each other, came about following earlier comments from Harper that he “double dared” Obama to veto the estimated $6 billion project.
“Tensions between the U.S. and Canada are about as high as they’ve ever been after Canada’s Prime Minister Harper completely lost his cool and went on an unprecedented rant at Obama over Keystone XL today,” said CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
“Mr. Harper has repeatedly said he will not take “No” for an answer on the Keystone XL Pipeline and now seems to be taking it personally.”
The political skirmish comes as Obama continues to say he will “dig out his favorite veto pen” and kill the Republican bill to approve the 1,179 mile (1,900 km) pipeline to carry up to 830,000 barrels a day of Canadian crude from Alberta’s oil sands to the Gulf Coast. The pipeline is in its 6th year of waiting for a U.S. permit after running into fierce environmental opposition.
“Yes, I can confirm that the President called and had a…umm…brief conversation with Prime Minister Harper today to confirm his decision to veto Keystone XL,” White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said to reporters following the phone call.
“Mr. Harper for some reason seemed surprised by the decision and ended the call abruptly.”
Harper Government Chief Spokesman Jason MacDonald said the Prime Minster was “firm with the President that a veto would be a mistake”.
“And, frankly, he stood up for all Canadians’ interests and told Mr. Obama that he will not talk to him ever again.”
Reportering for The Lapine