Just a couple of quotes to set this question in context.
The first is one he made to Tony Windsor about his desire to be Prime Minister:
”The only thing I wouldn’t do is sell my arse – but I’d have to give serious thought to it”.
The second is one he made to the press immediately after being deposed by Malcolm Turnbull:
“There will be no wrecking, no undermining, and no sniping.”
Tony Abbott: No sniping particularly not with (the issue of) a lever action shotgun
Tony Abbott grabbed the opportunity to appear on 7.30 and sought to make a clear distinction between him and Malcolm Turnbull on the issue of the banning of the Adler lever-action shot gun. Much of his defence was based on the fact that he was a minister in the Howard government which introduced strict gun controls.
He flatly denied that, unlike Turnbull, he had done a deal on the banning of the weapon, with pro-gun Senator David Leyonhjelm to secure the support for unrelated government legislation.
But it appears that he had done exactly the same deal as he was accusing Turnbull of by effectively inserting a sunset clause into the Legislation banning rapid-fire guns in return for the Senator Leyonhjelm voting against a Labor amendment to migration legislation.
When Sales produced an email stating there was a deal between the government and Senator Leyonhjelm, Abbott just kept saying “Wrong, wrong wrong.”
Leigh Sales has raised quizzical to an art form
He continued talking over Sales repeating, “These guns were stopped. These guns were stopped because of the Abbott government.”
Yet the sunset clause was passed into legislation while he was Prime Minister and Leyonhjelm claims that sunset clause is why he supported the government.
The point according to Abbott was ” The guns were stopped because of the Abbott government.” No mention of the fact that it was the Turnbull government that removed the sunset clause.
It’s a matter of who you believe, Abbott or Leyonhjelm. One of them looks as if they are telling porkies.
Hortenso: Faith, as you say, there’s small choice in rotten apples (Taming of the Shrew)
When asked three times “How tweeting disapproving commentary helps your own side?” Abbott simply talked over the Sales and refused to answer the question saying:
“But occasionally on important national and international issues, as former Prime Minister, I will have something to say.”
When asked why the Parliamentary Liberal party was opposed to euthanasia when 69% of the Liberal party voters supported it, Abbott obfusticated:
“And this is why it would be a good thing… I have my own views on that particular issue, and you won’t be surprised that they are fairly traditional and conservative views but as a general principle it is absolutely vital that we have a larger and more representative Liberal party in New South Wales, the biggest state Australia, the state where unfortunately the government all almost lost the election back in July so this is a very important part of maximising our chance of winning both the next state in the next federal election.”
All of this was in the context of reforms to the NSW Liberal party preselection processes, which after benefiting from them for 22 years as a member for Warringah, he wants changed.
When asked about the American presidential election and which candidate he preferred Abbott said;
“Well whoever wins, Australia will have to deal with them and you see obviously I’ve expressed some views about what different candidates have said I think as a general rule it is not a good look for Australian politicians, former Australian Prime Ministers to be buying into elections overseas.”
Why is Tony Abbott being coy about his preferred presidential candidate?
This was clearly not important national or international issue (on which) Abbott will have something to say despite having stated earlier in the week that many of Trump’s policies were reasonable and despite John Howard having said “I tremble at the thought of Trump as president, there is an instability about him that bothers me.”
When asked about his interest in the next vacancy for the Federal Liberal leadership, Abbott fudged again.
Tony Abbott flanked by his parliamentary supporters for his next leadership bid
“It’s not a question of what I might like, it’s a question of what the party room wants, the party room wants, the party room wants to end the revolving door prime ministership.”
What Abbott doesn’t understand about interviews is that if you don’t answer the question, the audience will make up their own mind about.
With this in mind, what can the cynical voter take away from the 7.30 interview?
- Abbott did a deal with Leyonhjelm over the Adler.
- Abbott will continue sniping at Turnbull when it suits him but not as a matter of principle.
- Abbott wants to reform pre-selection voting in the NSW Liberal party to undermine Malcolm Turnbull’s support.
- Abbott will continue to use the numbers in the Parliamentary Liberal party to thwart popular issues like euthanasia and same-sex marriage.
- Abbott supports Donald Trump in the presidential election.
- Abbott still thinks he can be Prime Minister.