Former President Barack Obama endorsed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for re-election on Wednesday, praising the Canadian leader and outspoken liberal, whose image has been tarnished by scandals in the run-up to a federal election this month.
“I was proud to work with Justin Trudeau as President,” Mr. Obama tweeted. “He’s a hard-working, effective leader who takes on big issues like climate change. The world needs his progressive leadership now, and I hope our neighbors to the north support him for another term.”
The endorsement could lift Mr. Trudeau at home, where his image as a liberal world leader — welcoming immigrants, defending women’s and Indigenous rights, and fighting climate change and racism — has suffered repeated blows over the last year. Last month, his re-election campaign was upended by the disclosure of photographs and a video of Mr. Trudeau wearing brownface and blackface makeup while he was a student and teacher.
And in August, Mr. Trudeau was found to have violated an ethics law in his handling of a corporate criminal case, by improperly pressuring his attorney general to seek a civil penalty against a company accused of corruption rather than a criminal conviction.
Mr. Trudeau apologized for wearing blackface and brownface, and said he took responsibility for mistakes made in the ethics case.
Mr. Obama has rarely spoken out explicitly about political leaders, in the United States or abroad, since he left office in 2017. He has so far not made an endorsement in the Democratic primary campaign, in which his vice president, Joseph R. Biden Jr., is a candidate.