08/07/2015 12:22 EDT | Updated 08/07/2016 05:59 EDT

Trudeau Ducks Questions About Endorsing Eve Adams

TORONTO — Justin Trudeau is brushing off questions about his endorsement of former Conservative MP Eve Adams, who defected to his Liberal party but failed to win a nomination for the Oct. 19 election.

The morning after the first leaders' debate, Trudeau waded into Finance Minister Joe Oliver's Eglinton-Lawrence riding in Toronto, where Adams had hoped to be the Liberal candidate after quitting the Conservatives last February.

Adams lost the nomination to Marco Mendicino, but Trudeau deflected when asked directly if his decision to welcome her into the Liberal fold was a mistake that would hurt Mendicino's chances.

Trudeau said only that he was proud of the open nomination process the Liberals have used across the country.

The Liberal leader also said the Conservatives were focusing on his hair and his last name to bother him, but insisted it doesn't, and vowed he would stay focused on the concerns of the middle class and the economy.

Trudeau said Prime Minister Stephen Harper has put Canada into a deficit and wouldn't say how long a Liberal government would take to balance the books, saying it depends "on the size of the mess" the Conservative government leaves behind.

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