Federal Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch brought her message of immigration screening – and perceived problems with universal health care – to an American audience via an interview with Fox Business Network on Tuesday.
“Not all of president-elect [Donald] Trump’s supporters are in the United States,” said After the Bell host David Asman, while introducing the Ontario MP.
“His anti-establishment brand has found some common ground with folks north of the border.”
During the brief interview, Leitch explained her position on screening newcomers to Canada for “Canadian values” using face-to-face interviews.
WATCH: Leitch says Trump will respect her; they have things in common
Leitch said groups of “elites,” “insiders,” and “the left-wing media” in Canada are pushing open-border global agendas to “feather their own caps, but they’re leaving behind average Canadian workers.”
Asman, in turn, said it’s “remarkable how similar” concerns are in the United States as in Canada.
Toward the end of the almost five-minute segment, Asman asked Leitch about Canadian health care, saying some Americans who support a greater role for government in the delivery of health services often look to Canada as a model.
“It’s fair to say that socialized medicine isn’t the cure, right?” he asked Leitch, after she said Canadians face challenges in terms of wait times and access to medical care.
“I would tend to agree with you,” said the former status of women minister.
During the American presidential race, Trump and his running mate, vice president-elect Mike Pence painted Canadian health care as “slow,” “catastrophic” and “socialized.”
WATCH: Donald Trump calls ‘slow’ Canadian healthcare ‘catastrophic’ during debate
Since winning, the president-elect appointed a fierce “Obamacare” critic – and privatized Medicare champion – to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.
Leitch is one of 13 declared candidates in the race to replace Stephen Harper as leader of the federal Conservative party.
Her proposal, made in the fall, to screen immigrants for so-called Canadian values – hard work, generosity, freedom, gender equality and religious freedom, in her words – drew criticism from other candidates in the race, among others in the political sphere.
WATCH: ‘Don’t need this karaoke version of Donald Trump,’ candidate Maxime Bernier says of Leitch
Wednesday morning, Conservative leadership hopeful Lisa Raitt told reporters Leitch, alongside presumed candidate Kevin O’Leary, threaten the Conservative “path to victory” in 2019.
“I’m really concerned about the kinds of policies she’s putting forward,” said Raitt. “She is not reflecting our principles when she talks about immigration in the way she does … she’s my friend but the kinds of stuff she talking about is not going to lead us on a path to victory.”
An Ipsos poll released just prior to the November presidential election found a majority of Canadians would consider voting for a candidate with Trump-like policies focused on stricter immigration controls, reviewing trade agreements and taking funds from international development to invest in domestic priorities.
Conservatives will vote for their new leader in May.
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