Kevin O'Leary, former Dragons' Den TV star admits he cannot defeat Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in next election, whom he earlier scolded as an incompetent and vowed to show him how to run Canada. O'Leary is dropping out of the Conservative leadership race and will back front-runner Maxime Bernier instead.
TORONTO – The man who wanted to teach Prime Minister Justin Trudeau how to run Canada couldn't even finish the Conservative leadership race and is dropping out.
Loud mouth businessman Kevin O'Leary announced Wednesday he's dropping out of the Conservative leadership race and will endorse front-runner Maxime Bernier.
The reality TV star is ending his campaign only hours before the last leadership debate in Toronto, and two days before party members can start casting their ballots.
Despite unable to take the heat of politics, the always boastful O'Leary said he is confident he could win the Conservative race, but now believes he cannot defeat Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the next election, multiple sources told CBC News.
He has cited his failure to gain traction in Quebec and his poor French-language skills as reasons for dropping out of the leadership race.
"I have extremely high likelihood of winning the leadership race, but no way to win the election because of Quebec," he said in an interview with the Globe & Mail on Wednesday. "You have to win 30 seats. So, who can do that? It's Bernier."
"He's a front-runner," O'Leary said. "I like Max. I can work with him."
In a statement sent to reporters, O'Leary said he has "worked like hell on this campaign."
"This was not an easy decision for me to make but after much thought and deliberation, it is the right one for the Conservative party and the country," he said. "I want the DNA of my policies and objectives to survive into the general election. The candidate that best mirrors my policies is Maxime Bernier."
O'Leary has not left his Conservative opponents unscathed, and, despite his expected endorsement of Bernier, the two candidates have sparred over allegations of membership fraud and vote buying. The Quebec MP called O'Leary a "loser" after he went public with concerns about vote rigging, reported CBC News.
The federal Conservatives will elect their new leader on May 27.