News Election 2016 A Tony Abbott comeback? That’s ‘horses**t’: Credlin
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A Tony Abbott comeback? That’s ‘horses**t’: Credlin

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Former Tony Abbott staffer Peta Credlin has slammed Barnaby Joyce’s suggestion of a Tony Abbott comeback as “horse s–t”.

Mr Joyce, the Deputy Prime Minister, Nationals leader and Abbott backer, said he believed the former PM still harboured leadership ambitions but would realise a comeback wasn’t possible.

“He will want to, but he’ll realise he can’t,” Mr Joyce told AAP. “To say that he doesn’t have a desire is ridiculous – to say that he can’t overcome that desire by the reality that’s just not going to happen [is another].”

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Mr Joyce said Mr Abbott was “by nature a very competitive person” and that “human nature being what it is, people who’ve had that desire will maintain that desire to win”.

But Ms Credlin dismissed Mr Joyce’s comments as nonsense and repeated the assertion that the Abbott years were “over”.

“I think that’s ‘absolute rubbish’. I was going to say horse s–t but I don’t know if I can say that on TV,” she told Sky News on Tuesday night.

“Honestly, Barnaby, get back on the wombat trail – please leave this alone. Tony’s made absolutely clear that the Abbott years are over, and no one can look at his performance during this campaign and see that he’s anything other than a team player.”

The wombat trail is a name commonly used for the Nationals’ campaign trail during elections.

Mr Abbott has made it clear in recent week that he no longer harbours leadership ambitions despite the support of many on the right of the party and last month told broadcaster Andrew Bolt that he did not expect the party to “ever go back” on its decision to dump him for Malcolm Turnbull in September last year.

– with AAP.