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Mulroney deemed rookie MP Martin a "strikeout" 

[PoliticsWatch Updated 5:30 p.m. September 13, 2005]

OTTAWA  — When rookie Liberal MP Paul Martin arrived on the federal political scene in 1988, some had touted the son of the former Liberal cabinet minister of the same name as a possible future prime minister.  
   
But then prime minister Brian Mulroney was not among that group. 

In the sensational new book The Secret Mulroney Tapes, Mulroney spoke with author Peter C. Newman shortly after the 1988 Conservative election victory about the new opposition talent in the House of Commons. 

"I don't see much talent in terms of leadership," he told Newman. "The fact is that (John) Turner is the most talented one over there."

"If you want to know what's being said on the floor of the House of Commons, and not the fluff that's being written in the press gallery, I can tell you the two strikeouts of the early session."

Mulroney listed former B.C. premier Dave Barrett, who was now an NDP, as No. 1 

"The second strikeout is young Paul Martin," Mulroney said. 

Newman reportedly ended his secret interviews with Mulroney in 1995, so the strikeout passage is one of the few where the former PM talks about the future PM. 

Much of Mulroney's criticism of Liberals are centred around former prime minister Jean Chretien and the so-called Parliamentary Rat Pack, which included then opposition MPs Sheila Copps, Brian Tobin, Don Boudria and John Nunziata.

"The Rat Pack? These are Nazis," Mulroney said in his interviews of the group of opposition MPs that tormented him during question period.

"They deal in lies and calumnies. They are the worst kind. The Liberals developed this Nazi-style caliper - tell a lie often enough about somebody and people will believe it." 

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