Here's Some Other Infamous Times Politicians Dodged Questions
Bill Shorten deflected a persistent line of questioning this week, but he's far from the first politician to bat away a curly question.
Jonathan Lea of 10 News First is out on the election campaign trail with the Labor leader. On Tuesday, Lea tried asking the opposition leader a question about the financial impact of his party's carbon emissions reduction plan.
Shorten's answer didn't go to the question. So Lea asked again. And again. And again. In all, he pressed the Labor leader five times on what his emissions reduction plan would cost.
"You're not answering the question," Lea pushed, as Shorten tried to move on to another journalist's question.
On Wednesday, nearly 24 hours later, Lea finally got his answer.
But it's hardly the first time an Aussie politician has tried to dodge a curly question.
Remember in 2015, when then-treasurer Joe Hockey decided to focus on the appearance and youthfulness of two journalists rather than answer their questions?
"God you guys, look how young you are, are you 18?" Hockey asked, as reporters from the ABC and Sky News pressed him for answers as he walked the halls of Parliament House.
"Get a look at his face, look at this, look at this... What's going on? I don't know what you guys are up to... Maybe I'm getting old."
Hockey was chastised for the "insulting" response by Labor's Chris Bowen.
Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had his own heavily criticised moment in 2010, when he batted away a question about his leadership turmoil and instead commented on a female journalist's appearance.
"That's a point of language which you have used which is dramatically consistent with the dress which you have chosen today," he said to a reporter, who had turned up to his press conference in a fedora hat and grey tie.
"It's a great tie, it's a nice hat, I like it a lot," Rudd added.
Just a week later, Rudd was dumped as Labor leader, in a sensational and -- at least, at the time -- unprecedented coup which saw Julia Gillard installed as PM.
How about Jaymes Diaz, one-time Liberal candidate for the seat of Greenway? In the 2013 election, Network 10's journalist John Hill asked him about the government's "six point plan" to stop asylum seeker boats.
"Six points, could you run through them for us?" Hill asked.
Long story short, Diaz could not. It sunk his campaign. Relive the iconic interview in the above video.
Mal Meninga was a prodigy on the rugby league field, one of the finest to ever pull on a pair of footy boots -- but his political communication skills did leave something to be desired. In 2001, the former Canberra Raiders star announced plans to run for office.
That campaign ended just seconds into his first interview on radio. This piece is about politicians dodging questions -- but Meninga didn't so much "dodge" this question, as simply surrendered to it.
When asked why people should vote for him, Meninga flustered through a few lines, before simply throwing up his hands and saying "I'm buggered," standing up from the chair and abandoning the interview.
Clive Palmer has a penchant for similar tactics, with a string of incidents where he simply stood up and walked out of interviews.
In 2014, he told ABC host Tony Jones to "shut up".
But truly the gold standard of this is the infamous interview by Channel Seven journalist Mark Riley of Tony Abbott, who simply stared and nodded his head in silence, mouth agape, for 25 whole seconds.
"You're not saying anything Tony," Riley said, breaking the stunned silence.
"I've given you the response you deserve," Abbott replied.
Listen to Hugh Riminton and Peter Van Onselen in The Professor and The Hack discuss all things #Auspol.