On November 30, as President Bush visited Canada to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin in an effort to improve the two countries' strained relations, right-wing pundit Ann Coulter and CNN Crossfire co-host Tucker Carlson ridiculed the United States' northern neighbor. On FOX News Channel's Hannity & Colmes, Coulter said that Canadians "better hope the United States doesn't roll over one night and crush them. They are lucky we allow them to exist on the same continent." On CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, Carlson stated: "Without the U.S., Canada is essentially Honduras, but colder and much less interesting"; he went on to say that instead of following politics, "the average Canadian is busy dogsledding." And on Crossfire, Carlson referred to the "limpid, flaccid nature of Canadian society."
Canada is the United States' largest trade partner. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. trade with Canada accounted for a cumulative $38.5 billion dollars in September 2004 alone. Further, as Bush noted in a December 1 speech in Halifax, Nova Scotia, "Canada has taken a series of critical steps to guard against the danger of terrorism." In its country profile of Canada, the U.S. State Department website notes:
The bilateral relationship between the United States and Canada is perhaps the closest and most extensive in the world. It is reflected in the staggering volume of trade--the equivalent of over $1 billion a day in goods, services, and investment income--and people, more than 200 million a year crossing the U.S.-Canadian border. In fields ranging from law enforcement cooperation to environmental cooperation to free trade, the two countries have set the standard by which many other countries measure their own progress.
Below are excerpts from Coulter's and Carlson's Canada-bashing.
From the November 30 edition of FOX News' Hannity & Colmes:
COULTER: Conservatives, as a general matter, take the position that you should not punish your friends and reward your enemies. And Canada has become trouble recently.
It's -- I suppose it's always, I might add, the worst Americans who end up going there. The Tories after the Revolutionary War, the Vietnam draft dodgers after Vietnam. And now after this election, you have the blue-state people moving up there.
COULTER: There is also something called, when you're allowed to exist on the same continent of the United States of America, protecting you with a nuclear shield around you, you're polite and you support us when we've been attacked on our own soil. They [Canada] violated that protocol.
COULTER: They better hope the United States doesn't roll over one night and crush them. They are lucky we allow them to exist on the same continent.
COULTER: We could have taken them [Canada] over so easily.
[ALAN] COLMES: We could have taken them over? Is that what you want?
COULTER: Yes, but no. All I want is the western portion, the ski areas, the cowboys, and the right-wingers.
COULTER: They don't even need to have an army, because they are protected, because they're on the same continent with the United States of America. If we were not the United States of America, Canada -- I mean, we're their trading partner. We keep their economy afloat.
ELLIS HENICAN [Newsday columnist]: We share a lot of culture and a lot of interests. Why do we want to have to ridicule them and be deeply offended if they disagree with us?
COULTER: Because they speak French.
COLMES: There's something else I want to point out about the French. Is it's fashionable again on your side to denounce the French.
COULTER: We like the English-speaking Canadians.
From the November 30 edition of CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports:
CARLSON: Without the U.S., Canada is essentially Honduras, but colder and much less interesting.
CARLSON: We exploit your [addressing Canadian Member of Parliament Carolyn Parrish] natural resources, that's true. But in the end, Canadians with ambition move to the United States. That has been sort of the trend for decades. It says something not very good about Canada. And I think it makes Canadians feel bad about themselves and I understand that.
CARLSON: Canada needs the United States. The United States does not need Canada.
CARLSON: I think if Canada were responsible for its own security -- you would be invaded by Norway if it weren't for the United States.
CARLSON: [A]bsolutely the countries will remain allies and there will always be politicians who see it to their benefit to stomp on Bush dolls [referring to action taken by Parrish]. But no, I don't think the average Canadian feels -- the average Canadian is busy dogsledding.
PARRISH: No, there's not a lot of dogsledding. There's a lot of dog walking, my friend. Not a lot of dogsledding.
CARLSON: Welcome to our century.
From the November 30 edition of CNN's Crossfire:
CARLSON: Canada's essentially -- essentially a made-in-Taiwan version of the United States.
CARLSON: I'm surprised there was anybody left in Canada to attend the protests. I noticed that most sort of vigorous, ambitious Canadians, at least almost all comedians in Canada, come to the United States in the end. Doesn't that tell you something about the sort of limpid, flaccid nature of Canadian society, that people with ambition come here? What does that tell you about Canada?