Rana Bokhari defends Billy Moore, says Greg Selinger 'lies daily'
'Let's have boundaries of how far we're going to take something like this'
Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari chastised reporters for continuing to question her about Billy Moore, a candidate who made controversial comments about closing hospitals.
"Yes, he said things wrong. We recognize that," she said on Friday. "We're human beings, we're not perfect. We're not career politicians … we're just everyday people who are just trying to make meaningful change in the lives of Manitobans.
"If we want to get people to run, if we want people to be engaged in politics, let's have boundaries of how far we're going to take something like this. This doesn't need to be a four-day story."
Bokhari has been doing damage control since Moore, the Liberal candidate in Brandon West, made the comments at a debate on Wednesday afternoon. He told the crowd the province has "too many hospitals" and should close a couple of them.
Moore said that he believes people are more inclined to use hospitals simply because they are available.
"People wouldn't want to get sick because they have nowhere to go. They would want to stay healthy and work," he told about two dozen people in attendance at the debate, hosted by the Brandon Friendship Centre.
On Thursday, Bokhari called the comments "silly" but said Moore won't be disciplined. Closing hospitals is not Liberal Party policy, she added.
That same day, Moore claimed his hospital comments were simply a publicity stunt to get media coverage. He said he doesn't believe those remarks at all.
Asked on Friday why the Liberals are holding onto Moore after he admitted to purposefully misleading the public, Bokhari lashed out: "Do we want to have this conversation, guys? Greg Selinger lies to Manitobans daily and he's the premier of our province."
Moore "didn't do anything so overly unethical" as NDP candidate Wab Kinew, Bokhari added.
"Wab Kinew can say the most sexist, racist things — tell women that their only place is to be on all fours — and everyone's OK with that?"
She said Moore will be going through "some aggressive media relations training" and will face penalties if he trips up again.
"We've got an eye on him," she said.