Harper dodges political hot potato

Tue Sep 9, 2008 2:13pm EDT
 
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WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, often criticized for being wooden and humorless, sidestepped what could have been a prickly political question on Tuesday at an election whistle stop at a vegetable warehouse.

"If you were a vegetable, what type of vegetable would you be?" a local television reporter asked Harper amid hoots of laughter from other reporters and officials of Harper's Conservative Party.

Harper appeared to gaze at the neatly piled cabbages, cauliflowers and potatoes behind him as he searched for a reply.

"You know, I really don't know how to answer that question. I've never been asked that question before, and I have a feeling that I can't win by answering it," he said.

"Let me say this. I would choose, if I had to, instead to be a fruit. Just what I am: sweet and colorful."

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Peter Galloway)

 
<p>Conservative leader and Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during a campaign stop at a vegetable processing plant in Winnipeg, Manitoba September 9, 2008. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>