Peter MacKay regrets how 'stinking albatross' comments were viewed
MacKay made the remark about how Scheer was dogged during federal election campaign
Conservative leadership candidate Peter MacKay says he regrets how some people interpreted his comments that current leader Andrew Scheer's socially conservative values were a "stinking albatross."
MacKay made the remark after the last federal election, in referring to how Scheer was dogged during the campaign by questions about same-sex marriage and abortion.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney referenced MacKay's comment in an email this week where Kenney endorsed leadership candidate Erin O'Toole.
During a stop in Regina — Scheer's hometown — MacKay acknowledged that his comment "might have been a little raw at the time."
He said if Conservatives want to return to government, they've got to be honest with themselves and be more forward-looking.
MacKay says he believes he represents the values of conservatives in Alberta and Saskatchewan and is offering a more moderate, centrist message than Scheer.
"I am pro-choice. I am for equal marriage. I am not going to restrict access [to abortion]. I am willing to march in a parade. But people want to talk about the economy," MacKay said.
"That's the focus. That's our laser-guided approach to how we improve the quality of life, the opportunities and the growth that are there in the country."