Abbott opens up on air


Tony Abbott thinks he’s too young to retire.

In a wide-ranging radio interview this morning, the former Prime Minister opened up about the late night coup, his former Ministers and his future.

Tobi Loftus reports.

TRANSCRIPT

Ray Hadley, Radio Host: “Good to see you buddy, you okay?”

Tony Abbott, Former Prime Minister: “Yeah no, I’m fine mate, I’m fine.”

And he certainly was up to talking about the events of the last fortnight on Sydney radio this morning, including concerns about the revolving door nature of Australia’s top job.

Tony Abbott, Former Prime Minister: “This is a real problem for our country, because the last four changes of Prime Minister, only one has been at the hands of the people, the other three have been at the hands of what the public would think is a backroom cabal.”

Despite being dumped, Mr Abbott says the government should be returned at the next election.

And stands by his support of his Chief of Staff Peta Credlin and former Treasurer Joe Hockey.

Tony Abbott, Former Primer Minister: “Joe and I were absolute blood brothers when it comes to economic policy and the idea and the idea that I could have sacrificed Joe to save myself is dead wrong. As for my chief of staff, look no one worked longer and harder for our success.”

His thoughts on new Treasurer Scott Morrison were not as effusive, but Mr Abbott did concede Mr Morrison talked with his office about a possible leadership spill.

Tony Abbott, Former Prime Minister: “Look he’s got one construction on the conversation and my office has a different construction of the conversation.”

And as to the future for the former PM?

Tony Abbott, Former Prime Minister: “Look, I’m too young to retire, I’ve still got something to contribute to public life. There’s not going to be a by-election in Warringah anytime soon and I’m not going to make any final decision this side of Christmas.”

Until then, there’ll be plenty of time for surfing in his infamous budgie smugglers.

Tobi Loftus, QUT News.