Rupert Murdoch throws his weight behind Tony Abbott
Media baron Rupert Murdoch yesterday threw his personal support firmly behind the conservative opposition leader Tony Abbott ahead of Australia's election, saying Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was "all over the place".
Murdoch's powerful News Corp Australia newspapers, which have the largest circulation of any media group in the country, have already called for voters to "kick out" Rudd's centre-left Labor government.
But the Australian-born octogenarian went further yesterday, talking about the character of the two men who are facing off in the September 7 polls.
"Conviction politicians hard to find anywhere," Murdoch tweeted. "Australia's Tony Abbott rare exception. Opponent Rudd all over the place convincing nobody."
Rudd's daughter Jessica Rudd, a writer, was quick to respond, tweeting back: "rupertmurdoch Thanks for taking the time each day to tell us what to think."
News Corp has made no secret of its support for Abbott, with Sydney's Daily Telegraph running a front page editorial the day after Rudd called the polls headlined "Kick This Mob Out".
The tabloid has since run a string of stories against the government, including one in which Rudd was photoshopped to look like bumbling Nazi Colonel Klink from the television show Hogan's Heroes.
Although now a US citizen, Murdoch's support is seen as influential in Australian politics and Rudd, who received the powerful tycoon's backing ahead of the 2007 election which he won, has accused the mogul of an orchestrated plan against him.