POLITICS
06/26/2014 12:50 EDT

Tories Release Attack Ad Against Ignatieff (Who Isn't Liberal Leader Anymore)

It seems Tories just can't stop ripping Michael Ignatieff.

After it was revealed this week the former Liberal leader is headed back to Harvard University for a full-time position, the official Twitter account of the Conservative Party of Canada marked the news… with an attack ad.

Tories shared an unused commercial with the hashtag: #DidntComeBackForYou.

The ad claims Ignatieff asked the university to let him return if he didn't get elected.

"You can tell a Harvard man but you can't tell him anything much," Ignatieff says in a clip.

Conservatives unleashed a barrage of attack ads against Ignatieff after he became Liberal leader in 2009. The central message from each was that after 30 years outside the country, working in academia and journalism, Ignatieff was "just visiting" Canada and "not in it for you."

Tories had applied much the same strategy to his predecessor, Stephane Dion, whom they described in their ads as "not a leader."

Stephen Harper won the 2008 election against Dion and captured a majority government in 2011, with Ignatieff losing even his own seat.

But recent attack ads on Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau, hammering home a message that he is "in over his head," have so far proven less successful. Trudeau has consistently been shown in public opinion polls as either leading Harper or close behind him.

And that got CBC News' Kady O’Malley thinking the Tories might kind of… miss Iggy.

In a post Wednesday, O'Malley suggested the tweet could have been an admission of a "wistful nostalgia" for the days when their attacks against the Liberal leader really landed on target.

"It's no wonder some Conservatives may want to reminisce fondly of those halcyon days when a damning catchphrase, an ominously toned voice-over and a strategically edited video was enough to bring down a Liberal leader," she wrote.

And it appears Tories are also anticipating attack ads coming their way.

As reported by The Hill Times, a recent fundraising pitch from the Tories warns supporters that Liberals and New Democrats won't be sluggish to respond to negative ads.

"The Liberals and NDP are proposing expensive tax and spend schemes that would reverse all the progress we've made together. And having learned their lesson from past election losses, we believe that they will aggressively attack us as we approach the campaign in 2015," says an email from Conservative Party National Council President John Walsh.

Trudeau, however, has vowed to keep his message positive in the next election — an approach he admits is risky.

"I'm not going to sit back but I'm also not going to be dragged down to the same level as they are because across the country I have seen Canadians sick and tired of the negativity and the fighting," Trudeau said last year, just prior to winning the Liberal leadership.

What are your thoughts about the Conservatives' tweet? Tell us in the comments.

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