Social services minister Scott Morrison, who’s tipped to become treasurer in Malcolm Turnbull’s new ministerial line up, which is expected to be announced on Sunday, made one of his regular appearances on 2GB’s Ray Hadley show this morning, and the normally Coalition-friendly radio host was on the warpath over Tony Abbott’s dumping in Monday’s leadership challenge.
During the tense exchange, it emerged that Abbott had offered Morrison Joe Hockey’s job as treasurer at the 11th hour.
Hadley questioned Morrison’s alliance with Abbott, asking him to explain whether there was a secret deal done with Turnbull prior to Monday’s vote, since he looks like being the only Abbott supporter to be promoted.
“I gave him (Abbott) everything I had,” Morrison said. “At the end of the day I voted for Tony Abbott. I gave him utter loyalty. I did everything I could to make his government a success… The party made a decision because of the performance of the government.”
But Hadley wasn’t buying it and suggested that when they spoke before the vote, Morrison was misleading about what he knew of the challenge.
“It just seems strange that you are the only being elevated after Tony Abbott,” Hadley said.
“Mr Abbott thinks you ran with foxes and hunted with the hounds.”
Morrison defended himself: “I didn’t mislead you on Monday… I haven’t misled you in all the years we have spoken.
“I said on Friday (to Abbott) that I thought things were pretty febrile… The only person who offered me the [treasurer] position before ballot was Tony Abbott.
“I can’t understand why I was being offered that job when he was showing support for Joe Hockey… I never sought the job… I didn’t understand how we would explain to Australians that hockey was best made for job the day before and I was best man for job the day after,” he said, adding that he knocked it back because “it was not consistent” and he “didn’t want to disrupt party even further”.
“I told them I was voting for Tony Abbott and I did.”
Hadley then pressed him on being offered the position of treasurer by Turnbull.
“I’ve never been offered the job of treasurer by Malcolm Turnbull,” Morrison said.
“[If that happens] I will have got the job merit, the same I’ve got every job. It may seem remarkable to you that someone would be promoted on merit…
“What your suggesting is that only reason he is considering me is because of a deal and that’s rubbish.”
Then things got heated and Hadley asked Morrison to swear on the Bible that he had not betrayed Abbott.
“You get to judge my policies, but you don’t get to just my faith… I’m not going to use my faith for a stunt for your program. With great respect I don’t appreciate you bringing religion and faith into this,” Morrison hit back.
“I’m happy to do it if that will satisfy you…. I think it’s a very offensive thing that you would ask me to do… but if you think that’s the sort of thing you want to chose to do on you program that up to you.”
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