One of the best political interviews I’ve seen this year. Leigh Sales grills Opposition Leader Tony Abbott about being “loose with the truth”.
LEIGH SALES: Do you – I’m asking you though, not about the Government. I’m asking: do you accept that it’s legal to come to Australia to seek asylum by any means – boat, plane – that it is actually legal to seek asylum?
TONY ABBOTT: I think that people should come to Australia through the front door, not through the back door. If people want a migration outcome, they should go through the migration channels.
LEIGH SALES: That’s an answer to the question if I asked you: how do you think people should seek asylum?, it’s not an answer to the question: is it legal to seek asylum?
TONY ABBOTT: And Leigh, it’s the answer I’m giving you because these people aren’t so much seeking asylum, they’re seeking permanent residency. If they were happy with temporary protection visas, then they might be able to argue better that they were asylum seekers, but obviously the people who are coming to Australia by boat, they want permanent residency; that’s what they want and this government has given the people smugglers a business model by putting permanent residency on the table. And even though the Government has adopted just one of the Howard Government’s successful policies, it won’t adopt temporary protection visas or the willingness to turn boats around where it’s safe to do so.
LEIGH SALES: Do you think that the nature of politics allows politicians to be a little bit free with the facts in their statements just as part of the game of politics?
TONY ABBOTT: I certainly think that we had an example today in the Parliament of the Prime Minister caught out misleading the Parliament, but typically of this prime minister she just tries to brazen her way through it by refusing to answer the question. She said …
LEIGH SALES: But how about – speaking of answering the question, how about you? I mean, what do you think? Are you absolutely scrupulous about making sure what you say in public is accurate?
Watch the whole thing – it’s electrifying.
Via 730 Report, ABC.