Like all politicians, Tony Abbott loves to rub salt into the wound of a bleeding opponent.
And he had plenty of opportunities as Opposition Leader during Labor’s tumultuous times, when Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd tussled for leadership in challenges in 2010, 2012 and 2013.
But now, given his current predicament, he may be wishing he kept his trap shut…
He claimed he could offer a stable government, unlike Labor.
After Julia Gillard won the June 2010 spill and took the Prime Ministership from Kevin Rudd, he said: “I can offer the Australian people a united, a stable and experienced team in a way that Labor plainly can’t.”
Except in February this year, Liberal backbencher Luke Simpkins moved a motion for a leadership spill – a motion that was defeated. And now, seven months later, he has been asked to step aside by both Malcolm Turnbull and Julie Bishop.
Doesn’t sound like a party that is united or stable to us.
He claimed Gillard’s government was illegitimate after she fought off a leadership challenge.
After Gillard successfully fought off Rudd’s challenge in February 2012, Abbott claimed her government was illegitimate. Then he survived a spill motion with less votes in support of him than Gillard had supporting her…
When Gillard won the ballot 71 votes to 31, Abbott – then Opposition Leader – asked this question of the Prime Minister in Parliament: “Given that one-third of her parliamentary colleagues and a quarter of her cabinet colleagues have today expressed their lack of confidence in her, how can she claim to have a mandate to continue as Prime Minister?”