JUDITH IRELAND August 29, 2012
Kevin Rudd said Tony Abbott had neither the temperament nor the policies to be PM. Photo: Andrew Meares
Kevin Rudd says Tony Abbott is "entirely beatable" at the next federal election, but the Opposition Leader has dismissed the former prime minister's assessment, saying Mr Rudd is only having a "look-at-me moment".
Yesterday, Mr Rudd took the opportunity to attack Mr Abbott's credentials while launching a biography of Gough Whitlam.
Mr Rudd said Mr Abbott was "entirely beatable at the next election because, increasingly, the Australian people see what it may mean to take a conservative leader such as him on trust".
The member for Griffith also said Mr Abbott was "the most extreme right-wing leader in his party's history", with neither the temperament nor the policies to be prime minister.
According to the latest Fairfax/Nielsen poll, the Coalition stands to win the next election in a landslide, with a two-party-preferred lead of 54 per cent to 46 per cent.
Today in Toowoomba, Mr Abbott brushed away Mr Rudd's barbs.
"Look, Kevin Rudd's just having a 'look at me' moment," Mr Abbott said.
He said Mr Rudd was worried Prime Minister Julia Gillard might try to go to the polls early (thereby denying Mr Rudd another chance to challenge for the Labor leadership).
"I think Kevin Rudd appreciates that Julia Gillard is trying to clear the decks," Mr Abbott said. "She's trying to clear up all the messes that she's got on her plate - not succeeding, I hasten to add."
As Health Minister Tanya Plibersek announced a $4 billion dental scheme this morning, Mr Abbott also said the government had given up on delivering a surplus.
Listing immigration cost blowouts and the Gonski recommendations on school funding as well as the dental reforms, he said Labor was spending like a "proverbial drunken sailor."
With Phillip Coorey