Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has described his fellow ex-prime ministers Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd as “miserable ghosts”.
Malcolm Turnbull was making a point about political leaders who got ousted choosing not to undermine politics after they left office. He also said that the Liberal leadership spill which saw Scott Morrison take his job was “crazy” and that there was an “element of the party and of the media” that sought to “blow the party up”.
While speaking at a political forum in New York, Mr Turnbull elaborated on why he thought his leadership ousting was unnecessary, citing “private polling” that revealed the Coalition could beat Labor in an election.
He was quoted saying “we were very, very competitive”.
He also seemed to gloat at the crowd that sought his removal, saying that “they didn’t get their guy up; they got ScoMo (Prime Minister Scott Morrison)”.
It’s clear that Malcolm Turnbull is still bitter about his ousting prompted by a leadership challenge from Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.
Mr Turnbull was clear in justifying his decision to leave parliament immediately after losing office, stating that “when you stop being prime minister, that’s it.”
He then took a dig at his fellow former PM’s Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott, criticising them for “hanging around” and continuing to influence political discourse.
However, Mr Turnbull was quickly responded to by Kevin Rudd on Twitter, who pointed out that he had left Parliament to live in New York City and that he should “come over for a cuppa”.
Dear Malcolm. A quick reality check on "miserable ghosts": 1st, having told the world you've left politics behind, you seem to be in the media every day talking about it. 2nd, in case you didn't notice, I left parliament for NYC 5 years ago. Why not come over for a cuppa? pic.twitter.com/1hjeIJLnDJ
— Kevin Rudd (@MrKRudd) October 1, 2018
Mr Rudd also pointed out the apparent hypocrisy of Mr Turnbull’s attack, citing that he had himself been in the media talking about Australian politics several times since his ousting from the prime ministership. On one occasion, Mr Turnbull weighed in on the issue of Peter Dutton’s parliamentary eligibility.