Politics

Albanese makes first gaffe of campaign and can’t afford another


Faced with questions about the basic indicators of the nation’s economy, the Labor leader couldn’t identify the unemployment rate, which sits at 4 per cent, or the cash rate set by the Reserve Bank, which has been stable at 0.1 per cent for 18 months.

As well as showing a blinding lack of preparation for a campaign that will centre on the cost of living challenges facing Australians, the blunder also plays straight into the Coalition’s hands.

Anthony Albanese was stumped by a reporter’s question about the unemployment rate at a press conference this morning. (Alex Ellinghausen)

One of the Prime Minister’s key attack lines of this campaign is that Labor can’t manage money.

The Opposition Leader knows full well this perception is a weakness for him, but rather than studying the numbers and making himself bulletproof, he’s taken the vest right off and suffered a body blow as a result.

The gravity of the error was written all over his face after the press conference and the clean-up job started straight away with a mea culpa, and a promise to be better.

Election campaigns are already a minefield of long days, snubs from members of the public and some misunderstandings along the way.

Scott Morrison Anthony Albanese April 11, 2022.
Today was day one of a 41-day race to the polls. (Martin Ollman/Getty)

But leaders have to get the fundamentals right.

Anthony Albanese can’t afford another slip like this in a six-week campaign.

He’s lucky it happened early.

But the clip has already been turned into a Liberal Party ad that will be played over and over again until election day.



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