What a dumpster fire.
On Friday morning, Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown joined Newstalk 1010's John Moore to discuss energy policy.
But let's just say Brown's appearance didn't exactly impress.
Sounding a lot like a student trying to wing an exam he hadn't studied for, the PC leader skirted awkwardly around Moore's pointed questions about green energy, debt, and his own plans to lower hydro rates and pay off the hydro debt.
First asked about green energy, Brown spent nearly two minutes running through various contracts negotiated by the Ontario government.
Eventually, Moore interjected:
"You didn't really answer my question, though. I get the complaint but I asked you if in your estimation green energy is worth paying for or whether we should just bail on it altogether?"
Brown's answer — a series of jazz-like riffs around the words "green energy" — was pretty difficult to follow.
Here's a sample:
"No, no, I'm a big believer in green energy if we need it. Apologies if I didn't answer your question...What I was saying is water power, I believe, is green. Having a giant contract with a foreign company like Samsung, they call it green energy, but when you're not your own green energy how is it green energy? We have a massive oversupply problem right now...I don't believe it's about green energy, I think everyone likes green energy."
After a few more minutes, Moore challenged Brown on specifics again:
"It's very satisfying, I'm sure, to recap how awful everything has been and how we've gotten to this point but...What is your plan? What is the alternative?"
Repeatedly pressed on his own plans for addressing the hydro debt for the remainder of the interview, all he could offer was more complaints about existing Liberal policies.
Embarrassingly for Brown, the interview was immediately followed by a discussion featuring panelists from across the political spectrum:
But even the more conservative panelists couldn't find anything very complimentary to say.
"That was an unmitigated disaster" said Michael Taube, a former speechwriter for Stephen Harper. "It sounded like you got him out of the shower, like he didn't know the call was coming", added National Post columnist Christie Blatchford.
Somehow, listeners seemed even less impressed.
"I was surprised you were giving this person so much time because they didn't know what they were talking about", one told Moore before being informed he had actually been listening to the Leader of the Opposition.
Said another: "I was saying to myself ' oh gosh, please don't let this be Patrick Brown, please don't let this be Patrick Brown'. At some point in time someone in opposition has to get their act together. This is getting actually scary for me as a voter."
The reviews on social media weren't any better, even coming from listeners who seemed sympathetic to the PCs:
@brownbarrie you were eviscerated on newstalk 1010 today. Get better or get gone.— Robert Skinner (@rgs_robert) March 4, 2017
@brownbarrie Newstalk 1010 interview this morning was an embarrassment. What's the plan! We don't want Wynne ... but you? I don't know.— Redge (@Versalytics) March 3, 2017
Photo: L. Russwurm. Used under Creative Commons License.