If you’re the kind of person who enjoys watching a sitting prime minister talk over a journalist, yesterday’s edition of 7.30 was probably just grouse for you. Over the course of an interview with host Leigh Sales, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was met with some hefty questions about his party and the policies it’s taking into the May 18 election. Many of his answers were delivered non-stop, as Sales tried to tease out the finer points of his responses.
Things got off to a grinding start as Sales attempted to clear up issues surrounding spending, the national deficit, and the Coalition’s promises to return the budget to surplus. After her interjection, Morrison offered up a classic “but I haven’t finished yet,” which only dissipated when Sales insisted they’d get around to other conversation points.
On the bare fact the Coalition government has now dumped two leaders in a row, Morrison deflected to stats about the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and defence spending. After several attempts to drive the conversation back on track, Morrison eventually offered the position that his elevation to the role – which occurred in September 2018 – was “a matter of record and history.”
When discussions turned to climate change and the Liberal Party‘s action plan, which proposes a relatively meagre $3.5 billion over ten years and effectively mirrors the plan of noted climate skeptic Tony Abbott, Morrison insisted his party had the confidence of voters to wind back our carbon emissions.
Another interesting exchange followed, when Sales asked a pointed question about the preference deals Morrison’s party struck with Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party.
“Do I think the United Australia Party is a bigger risk to the Australian economy and jobs and Australia’s future than the Labor Party and the Greens? No I don’t they’re a bigger risk,” Morrison said.
“I think Bill Shorten and the Greens are a much bigger risk to peoples’ jobs, and the economic security and national security of this country than the alternative.”
A short time later, he said Greens Leader “Richard Di Natale wants a 100% renewable target, which will basically crash our economy,” seemingly ignoring the fact that a boiling planet would actually ruin our budget books.
It was an interview which pretty accurately characterised the Coalition’s stances, even if one of Australia‘s best interviewers was forced to wrench it out of the PM. You can peep the entire exchange here.