Prime Minister Stephen Harper endorses Rob Anders

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, right, and MP Rob Anders pose for a picture as they attend a Stampede breakfast at Heritage Park in Calgary, Sunday, July 8, 2007. Jeff McIntosh, THE CANADIAN PRESS

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has endorsed Conservative MP Rob Anders.

The controversial Calgary MP – who has taken heat for calling Nelson Mandela a terrorist and falling asleep in the Commons, among other things – is facing a challenge from former provincial cabinet minister Ron Liepert.

But the 17-year MP can apparently count on the prime minister for support.

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“Rob Anders has been a strong voice in our Caucus and Conservative Government as well as a valued member of our team,” Harper is quoted as saying on Anders’ website.

“The Road to 2015 is one that needs strong, stable leadership and I’ve been able to count on Rob to get real results for his riding and our country.”

Harper and Anders go way back. In an October 2012 interview, Anders, who is 41, said he’s known Harper for more than half his life, and that one of his biggest influences was the late Joseph Harper.

That’s right – the prime minister’s dad.

I asked the Conservative Party of Canada if the quote attributed to Harper was accurate.

Here is what director of communications Cory Hann wrote back:

“I can confirm that this quote can be attributed to the Prime Minister and Leader of our Party. It reflects the Prime Minister’s views about his caucus member.”

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