Australian prime minister Rudd questions Abbott diplomacy credentials
SYDNEY (AFP) - Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Wednesday attacked election rival Tony Abbott, questioning his suitability to be a world leader handling complex international crises such as Syria.
Labor's Mr Rudd, a former foreign minister who is trailing his conservative opponent in the run-up to Sept 7 polls, gave a scathing assessment of Mr Abbott's temperament and ability to deal with difficult diplomatic issues.
He said he had observed Mr Abbott over a 20-year period in parliament, "19 years as an exceptionally aggressive and negative politician, by any standard in Australian political history".
"And suddenly in the 20th year, as we get near to an election, we try to tone all that down a bit and play the statesman.... I just think Australians see through that," he said.