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The bungling potential PM

It was probably always Labor’s plan to put the Liberal leader front and centre during this election, and Abbott has done exactly what they must have expected, obliging with an impressively varied string of gaffes. In the creepiest moment of the campaign, Abbott, indulging in that most unnerving of political sports, baby kissing, attempted to plonk his lips on a child in Adelaide.

However, the mother turned away and Abbott, whose lips were set to kiss and were determined to kiss something come hell or high water, ended up imparting a peck on the back of the woman’s head. That was shuddersome enough, but it was Abbott’s comments about Liberal candidate Fiona Scott that sparked the most controversy. 

Describing the new female candidate for Lindsay and a neighbouring seat, Abbot said: “They’re young, they’re fiesty, I think I can probably say, have a bit of sex appeal.” Abbott later conceded it was a “daggy dad” moment. However, Kevin Rudd was less forgiving, suggesting that if any employer in Australia had made those comments about a member of their staff, “they’d be in serious strife”.


The brain fade

Liberal candidate for Greenway in NSW Jaymes Diaz is hailed as a rising star of his party, but on the evidence of an interview he gave to Channel Ten it’s hard to see why. Talking about immigration controls, Diaz said: “We have a six-point plan to stop the boats,” but when asked to run through those points Diaz was less than forthcoming. “Well, I can run through all the details of the points, but look,” he stutters, “the main thing is…”.

But the reporter cuts him off, insisting on the points, to which Diaz spectacularly replies: “Well, one of the points would be, the key point would be, stop the boats.”The reporter pushes Diaz to give the other five points. Diaz, eyes glazed, voice dimmed, says: “I’ve answered your question.” The reporter, now towering over the diminutive politician, points out he’s only actually given one, to which Diaz can only meekly repeat: “I’ve answered your question.”

 

The unhelpful party grandee

Rather magnificently missing the point, former Labor leader Mark Latham slammed Abbott’s above faux pas, saying: “It showed very bad judgement” – then, in the very same sentence, showed his own limited judgement by adding, “and that he has very low standards.”

Latham went on to claim Abbott must have had “beer goggles” on when he made the comments. “I had a good look at Fiona Scott ... and she doesn’t have sex appeal at all,” Latham said during a radio interview, not only judging her on her looks, but suggesting her looks weren’t up to scratch. Nice work.

» Are these gaffes embarrassing Oz? letters@tntmagazine.com

 

Photos: Getty, Thinkstock


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Australian Election 2013: Highlights of the most embarrassing moments and pratfalls so far
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