Bill Shorten called it “the gaffe that marked the end of the Prime Minister’s credibility” and “the defining moment in the campaign” in an address to the nation’s most senior political journalists.
He quoted Malcolm Turnbull as saying earlier that day: “What political parties say they will support and oppose at one time is not necessarily ultimately what they will do.”
He was pulled up on it within minutes in a question from ABC TV’s Sabra Lane, who asked Shorten if he had Turnbull’s full quote, because the prime minister had in fact been talking about the ALP.
The Liberal Party turned TV evening news coverage of the incident – with Channel 7, Channel 9, and ABC News all calling out Shorten for taking the quote out of context – into an attack ad last night. It features Nine’s Laurie Oakes saying: “To pretend it was about the government, some kind of admission by the PM about his own honesty, is pretty crude politics.”
The ad’s below. At a time when the Labor campaign has been admitting it needs everything to break their way if they are to be in with a chance of winning, this kind of coverage doesn’t help.
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