"I think it's mostly by people who never heard me to speak."
I feel a little nasty repeating that, but come on guys, this is a real issue. You can't write off Anglo candidates because their French isn't up to snuff and then ignore this guy's mangling of English.
Chretien got away with it because everyone said that he couldn't speak French either and it fit in with his "little guy from Shawinagan" mythology. And he didn't get away with it completely: in the English debates he always came off as hesitant and a little bumbling, while in the French debates he was forceful and much more charismatic, I'm sure because he didn't have to pause and translate in his head. Also, one might argue that the Liberals could have elected anyone after the disaster of the Mulroney administration, and then Chretien had the wile and wits to hold on. We're in a different era now.