He even unearthed a claim (picked up by a rival newspaper) that the Leader of the Opposition had supported death taxes. Thirty years ago, notice.
Finance Minister Simon Birmingham has released figures suggesting Labor may have spent an additional $81billion responding to the COVID-19 pandemic – remembering, of course, that the Parliamentary Budget Office estimated that the government had spent about $38 billion on JobKeeper payments to employers who failed to do so. experience lasting slowdowns.
Morrison’s media guardians hope the interview will begin to smooth out its sharp edges and flaws – which have been fully exposed.
Defense Secretary Peter Dutton first slammed the Leader of the Opposition for never having held an economic portfolio, then tendentiously claimed that Labor claimed ‘there is no difference between both parties when it comes to defending our nation,” but that Albanese was the least prepared Labor leader when it came to national security. from Mark Latham.
Home Secretary Karen Andrews claimed “the smugglers would jump for joy” if Labor were re-elected.
To top it off, a Sydney tabloid even attacked Albanese because a friend of his claimed in an interview that only upper-class Australians (like Morrison, presumably) buy white bread – thus proving, one way or another, that the Leader of the Opposition was out of touch.
And it’s only mid-February.
To the world at large it looked like a ‘kitchen sink’ strategy to throw everything at Albanese to see what might stick – and a calculated response as the Prime Minister’s position and character declined (according to published polls) over an extended period of time.
Albanese’s large-scale assessments are also an attempt to define the small-target opposition leader in the minds of voters.
By appearing alongside his wife, Morrison’s media advisers hope this interview will begin to soften the Prime Minister’s sharp edges and flaws – which have been on full display over the past few months – and humanize him ahead of a budget in March which will be a springboard in a survey scheduled for May.
There will be people who will look at the Prime Minister again following the 60 minutes interview and insights provided by Ms Morrison (who is likely to play a bigger role in the upcoming campaign than she did in 2019).
Interviews like these rarely change minds as much as the subject hopes and this one is unlikely to be an exception. Morrison has been in office for more than three years, has lead in his saddlebags and will not be able to revive his insurgent 2019 campaign.
The calculation is that, combined with the frontal assault on the character of the Labor leader and his suitability for high political office, a two-pronged strategy softening Morrison and tarnishing Albanian – going low and high at the same time – will pass.
Above all, it underscores how narrow the government’s path to a fourth term has become.
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