Trudeau says he considered quitting as PM amid marriage difficulties but there was 'so much to do still'

"I just realized ... there is so much to do still and the stakes are higher in some ways for our democracy than ever before."

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
On the latest episode of the Re:Thinking podcast, host Adam Grant sat down with Justin Trudeau to discuss how the prime minister handles doing his job at a time when a majority of Canadians disapprove of how he's running the country. He asked whether there were times that Trudeau thought about just giving up and stepping down as leader.

Trudeau noted that while the thought did cross his mind, it was during the time his marriage was falling apart that he truly considered quitting. In the end, he remained in power and his now ex-wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, left him. 

The prime minister defended his admission that he thinks about quitting "approximately every day," saying it was "part of a process" every person in a position of leadership should be engaged in. "You have to check that you're up for it, that you're all in every given day," he said, emphasizing his belief that Canadians "deserve a leader that is focused on them with everything they have."

Grant pressed on, asking how often Trudeau "actually thinks about quitting."

"These days? Not at all," he replied, before admitting that there was "a moment last year as I was facing some difficult moments in my marriage where I really wondered, ok, is there a path [out], and I just realized that's not me. There is so much to do still and the stakes are higher in some ways for our democracy than ever before."

"The need to try and hold things together in a rational discourse around doing things that are meaningful and are gonna nudge the ark of the moral universe forward matters so much," he added, "that I couldn't be the person I am, the fighter I am, and say yeah no, this particular fight I'm not walking away from."

Trudeau acknowledged the mounting criticism he's faced as a leader, but maintained that, "no matter how much they dislike me, I still have to try and think about what I can do to make sure that [Canadians], or their kids, or their community is doing better." 

The Angus Reid Institute's Trudeau Tracker, which monitors the prime minister's approval rating, had him sitting at just 28 percent as of April. In contrast, his disapproval rating was 66 percent.

When asked whether he suffered from imposter syndrome, Trudeau explained that while he had as a teacher, that feeling went away the first time he stepped on Parliament Hill as a newly-elected MP in 2008. 
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