Kevin Rudd Fires Back After 'Poster Boy' Dutton's Spray On Malcolm Turnbull
Former Prime Minister (x2) Kevin Rudd has come out swinging against 'poster boy' Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.
Four months after losing the leadership spill he instigated, Dutton broke his silence in an interview with Brisbane's The Sunday Mail, delivering an extraordinary spray on Malcolm Turnbull.
Calling him spiteful and indecisive, he said the former PM's lack of support for the Liberal Party's candidate in his old seat of Wentworth "was worse than any behaviour we saw even under (former Labor prime minister Kevin) Rudd".
Rudd later criticised the "nationwide puff-piece" on Twitter.
"Wonderful to see the Murdoch boys at work in all Sunday papers in a nationwide puff-piece on their poster boy Dutton," he wrote.
"The man who boycotted the apology to appeal to racists. And was supposed to be Murdoch's man in the Lodge.
"Now they're trying to rehabilitate him and save his seat."
The Home Affairs Minister told The Sunday Mail that Turnbull had brought about his own downfall through his lack of political nous.
He also criticised the former leader for actions he saw as undermining the Morrison government.
"I am the first to defend the legacy of the Turnbull government. Malcolm was strong on economic management, borders and national security, but Malcolm will trash his own legacy if he believes his position is strengthened by seeing us lose under Scott (Morrison),'' Dutton said.
Stating emphatically that he wasn't a stalking horse for former leader Tony Abbott or a right-wing "Bible basher", Dutton said Turnbull's poor management had lost the Liberals 15 seats in the 2016 election, leaving the government "with a one-seat majority which just made the parliament unmanageable".
"We were paralysed," he said.
He said Turnbull didn't have former Liberal PM John Howard's touch, judgment or ability to deliver the message.
"We went from three-word slogans under Tony (Abbott) to 3000 under Malcolm and our achievements weren't effectively communicated as a result," he said.
"Countless opportunities to strengthen the government or nail Shorten passed us by because Malcolm couldn't make a decision.
"Malcolm is charming and affable but he doesn't have a political bone in his body and it's not a criticism, but without political judgment, you can't survive in politics and he didn't."