This will finish him off completely. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd cooks up a story about being too busy dealing with Syria to go campaigning:
He started the day with the sombre announcement that the campaign had been suspended so he could focus on urgent talks about the Syria crisis.
What the Prime Minister didn’t say was that he had his taxpayer funded VIP jet waiting so he could fly home to Brisbane for the afternoon to appear on a cooking show, Kitchen Cabinet, , billed as an opportunity to watch politicians cook dinner in exchange for “a bring-a-plate dessert and a cheeky glass of wine” …
Mr Rudd made no reference today to his afternoon-long commitment with the ABC when he announced he would not be campaigning all day…
Amid international reports the United States may launch a missile strike against Syria, a sombre-faced Prime Minister declared yesterday it was a matter of “grave concern’’ and he would seek urgent briefings in Canberra. Asked twice during a press conference if he was suspending his campaign to deal with the crisis in Syria, Mr Rudd said the next practical step was to ensure he was fully briefed by officials
“My first responsibility, as Prime Minister of this country, is to make sure these matters are attended to thoroughly and carefully,’’ he said…
“The next practical step is for formal national security briefings to myself and other relevant Ministers which will occur in Canberra later today.”
But immediately after Sydney press conference, Mr Rudd boarded a taxpayer-funded RAAF jet to fly 728 kilometres to Brisbane to film an episode of the cooking show…
He then flew back to Canberra arriving at 6pm last night.
Rudd throws sand in the eyes:
Editor’s note 8.21pm: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has released a statement accusing the Sunday Telegraph of reporting he ‘delayed’ security briefings on Syria. Mr Rudd is wrong. The Sunday Telegraph’s report … merely says Mr Rudd suspended campaigning to deal with Syria, but then flew to Brisbane to shoot Kitchen Cabinet.
On Saturday morning Mr Rudd told Sydney journalists that he thought it was appropriate to halt campaigning temporarily, given the deadly situation in Syria.
When asked whether he regarded it as a “temporary suspension of your campaign”, he replied: “I regard it as a necessary practical step to make sure that we are fully briefed on developments. I have sought, during the course of the last 24 hours, to remain across these things. But, given these matters involve highly sensitive reports, it’s the advice of the secretary of my department that I travel to Canberra to be more fully briefed and I intend to do that.”
He also told reporters, “As Prime Minister of the country, I have a responsibility to draw to the attention of the Australian people to major events of an international nature which affect our national interests. I formed the judgment that this represents one such event.
“We are in consultation with our friends and allies around the world as we speak, and, as I said, having spoken about this now at some length with the secretary of the Prime Minister’s Department, and with the US ambassador, the next practical step is for formal national security briefings to myself and other relevant ministers which will occur in Canberra later today.
“Calm, sober, response means taking the information available at hand first, analysing precisely and carefully what has happened here, and then carefully considering appropriate responses, not to be rushed in any of this, but to be properly considered in all of this.”
Rudd has made himself a laughing stock. This will be devastating.
Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.