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Decision to bow out of leadership race weeks in the making: Pierre Poilievre

Politics

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre said today that weeks of uncertainty about whether he actually wanted to enter the party's leadership race came to a head as deadlines to sign contracts loomed.

Conservative Finance Critic Pierre Poilievre responds to the federal economic and fiscal update on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019.(Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre said today that weeks of uncertainty about whether he actually wanted to enter the party's leadership race came to a head as deadlines to sign contracts loomed.

He said he went to bed a few nights ago pledging that if he did not feel "all in" for the job when he woke up, he'd drop out. That's what he did Thursday, throwing a bombshell into the ongoing campaign.

Poilievre, known as a hard-edged, scrappy fighter on the floor of the House of Commons, grew emotional as he described his decision to back out.

"A friend of mine was texting me back and forth a few weeks ago and said, 'Are you going to do this?' I said, 'I don't know. Should I do it?'" Poilievre said on his way into a Conservative caucus meeting today.

"And he said, 'You should write two letters to your daughter. One telling her why you did it and one telling her why you didn't.'"

Poilievre said he liked the second letter better and decided he was tired of constantly sacrificing his personal life to his professional one.

Poilievre made the comments today on his way into a meeting of Conservative MPs and senators gathered to discuss strategy for Parliament's return last week.

Pierre Poilievre abruptly dropped out the the Conservative Leadership race last night – here are his first public comments since: <a href="https://t.co/H83Ejarh53">https://t.co/H83Ejarh53</a>

&mdash;@VassyKapelos

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