Morning TV interviews usually fall on the softer side of the news, so Prime Minister Tony Abbott probably wasn’t expecting a grilling this morning when he went on Today.
He didn’t count on one Karl Stefanovic, who will go to any lengths necessary to prove a point, and who went ahead and gave him a serve from which he’s still smarting.
Abbott, who admitted yesterday that he’s having a “ragged week”, used his Today appearance to bemoan the lack of support he’s had from opposition leader Bill Shorten, saying “I wish the Labor Party wasn’t in such a feral mood.”
Stefanovic hit upon the point that this kind of thing is pretty much par for the course in federal politics, and is exactly what Abbott did when he was in power. That’s where shit got heated and hilarious.
“With respect you were fairly feral in opposition… and isn’t he just doing what you did and why would he do anything different when it worked for you?” Stefanovic asked.
“We tried to stop the Labor Party from putting in a carbon tax because a carbon tax was a very bad policy and that is what Bill Shorten wants to give you the people back if he was to win an election,” Abbott replied, feeling testy.
Realising he was on a roll, Stefanovic went on to ping Abbott for his unpopular federal budget, calling it a “shambles” and saying, straight-up “No one is buying what you are selling, what you are laying down. That is the problem.”
Abbott, as a vein threatened to burst in his eye, said: “Karl, I want to stop you there. The budget started to come under control the day the government changed and the day we got a government which was serious about budget repair.”
The Australian, part of Rupert Murdoch‘s News Limited family, conceded today that Abbott’s approval rating is on the slide.
Stefanovic’s approval rating continues to rise.