News Election 2019 Campaign diary: Keating slams Dutton and the Greens lose another candidate
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Campaign diary: Keating slams Dutton and the Greens lose another candidate

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Paul Keating has grave concerns about Australia's current approach to China. Photo: Getty
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When former prime minister Paul Keating wants to deliver a verbal blow, boy does he deliver.

The one-time Labor leader had a candid chat with Jon Faine on ABC radio in Melbourne on Tuesday and, as usual, he came up with some zinging one-liners.

Yet it was his assessment of Peter Dutton that really got people talking: “I’ve never seen any public figure as mean or mean-spirited as Peter Dutton. At this election, those electors in Dickson have a chance to drive a political stake through his dark political heart.”

Mr Dutton was evidently listening …

Keating’s splash of verbal colour on Day 34 of the campaign got us thinking of his other imaginative insults.

Keating’s Greatest Hits

“I am not like the Leader of Opposition. I did not slither out of the Cabinet room like a mangy maggot …” (1992)
– Keating has a go at the Opposition Leader John Hewson

“The little desiccated coconut is under pressure and he is attacking anything he can get his hands on.” (2007)
– Keating lets rip on John Howard

“It was the limpest performance I have ever seen … it was like being flogged with a warm lettuce. It was like being mauled by a dead sheep.” (1989)
– Hewson cops it for his debate performance

The answer is, mate – ‘because I wanna do you slowly’ … and in the psychological battle stakes, we are stripped down and ready to go.” (1992)
On Hewson again

“Well, the thing about poor old Costello, he’s all tip and no iceberg.” (2007)
– Keating takes dig at treasurer Peter Costello

Well that was a digression … onwards to election campaign news.

Where were our leaders?

Both leaders were frequent flyers on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison started his day in Western Australia before flying to South Australia, where he visited the seat of Boothby. He later went to Tasmania and campaigned in Burnie and Launceston.

Mr Morrison and wife Jenny at the Cam River Bridge in the seat of Burnie. Photo: AAP

Labor leader Bill Shorten was also in South Australia wooing voters in,  you guessed it, Boothby. Later he headed to Perth.

Mr Shorten and his daughter Clementine serve sausages in Adelaide. Photo: AAP

Promises … Promises

Liberal: Scott Morrison continued to talk up his proposed measures to assist first home buyers.

Labor: The ALP talked up plans to reduce waiting lists for hospitals and elective surgeries and to help pensioners pay for dental treatment.

Quotes from the road

“I spoke to Julie yesterday, and she sent me a text this morning and she said there’s no difference of view between her and I.”
– Mr Morrison on Julie Bishop

“In the event we’re elected next Saturday, one of our first acts will be to withdraw from the old government’s meaningless, insipid, useless submission.”
– Mr Shorten on Labor’s plan to fight for increased wages at the Fair Work Commission

“The Greens are far more extreme than Clive Palmer or One Nation.”
– Former PM John Howard makes his thoughts on the Greens clear

Elsewhere on the trail

Greens candidate steps down: Greens candidate for the sprawling NSW seat of Parkes David Paull has quit over a social media post, claiming Martin Bryant didn’t commit the Port Arthur massacre.

Greens candidate for Parkes David Paull. Photo: Facebook

The allegations were reported in The Australian and Mr Paull quickly distanced himself, saying he no longer had those views.

That takes the number of candidates who have dropped out to 15.

PM does not believe gay people will go to hell: Mr Morrison said on Tuesday he was running for prime minister, not Pope.

The comments came as Mr Shorten criticised the PM for refusing to say he did not believe gay people would go to hell.

Mr Morrison said theological questions had no place in an election campaign. He later clarified he did not believe gay people will go to hell.

Early voting numbers continue to skyrocket: The AEC reported on Monday that 2.6 million Australians have lodged their ballots, four days out from polling day. The same time in 2016, 1.5 million had voted.

That’s odd

Pauline Hanson has labelled former One Nation candidate Fraser Anning a “racist” and accused him of trying to be “another Pauline Hanson”.

Yes, you read that correctly … Ms Hanson had a few people confused.