Trump's Twitter tirade bewilders folks in border towns
Published Tuesday, June 12, 2018 9:32PM ADT
Last Updated Tuesday, June 12, 2018 9:43PM ADT
Donald Trump’s Twitter attack on Canada is being watched around the world, but nowhere more closely than by people who live in the border area between the Maritimes and Maine.
They're either appalled or just perplexed by what has become a very public spat between the U.S. president and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Michael McLean is a U.S. Army veteran and heads the American Legion branch in Calais, Maine.
He gets his haircut in St. Stephen, N.B.
“I go faithfully every three weeks,” he said. “I’ve done this for the last 25 years.”
Trudeau said last weekend that Canadians are polite and reasonable, but won’t be pushed around. The G7 ended on a sour note with Trump calling Trudeau weak and dishonest.
That criticism continued Tuesday.
“I think that Justin probably didn't know that Air Force 1 has about 20 televisions and he's giving a news conference about how he will not be pushed around by the United States."
Tuesday was voting day in Maine, and many residents were willing to share their thoughts on their president’s tirade.
- “If he's going to pick a fight with Canada, that doesn't make any sense to me.” - Christine Litrell.
- “Well I think actually Canada is our best friend. Every time we've gone to war, they've stood with us. Every time we've had trouble they've stood with us. Canada has been a good partner and I don't understand why we're doing it.” - Mike Seymour
- "You can't help but watch it. I mean, everybody is watching it. I think. We'll just watch to see where it goes and two months from now they'll straighten it out and they'll be buddy buddy.” - Bob Clark
But some political leaders are concerned about the impact on trade.
“It makes it more difficult, not less difficult to be able to resolve these concerns, if we have this war of words between the two countries,” said Maine Sen. Susan Collins.
Deleah Honlomarr is among Donald Trump's biggest supporters in this part of Maine.
She says he's taking the right approach at the bargaining table.
"Trump is a businessman,” she said. “We got to learn from him. Read The Art of the Deal. If nothing else, read The Art of the Deal. Then you'll know where trump is coming from.”
On the Canadian side, Dana Planetta says nothing will change at the local level.
"There's families connected,” she said. “There's relatives, friends. Everybody knows everyone. It's like one community really.”
Joe Schofield is a painter on the American side and he doesn’t seem to be worried.
"No matter who's in office, it will be a good relationship with Canada and the United States,” he said. “We've done trade forever and we'll continue to trade and get along.”
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron.