Anthony Albanese berated a journalist during an explosive press conference where he was questioned about his gaffes and how he would stand up to Xi Jinping.
The Labor leader – dubbed “weak” by Scott Morrison – appeared cheered during press in his home suburb of Marrickville in Sydney’s inner west.
He dodged a question about whether he made a mistake Thursday by not outlining his six-point plan for the NDIS until an adviser handed him a policy document.
And in the face of constant interruptions, he told a journalist: “You’ve had your opportunity, so just wait” and “I’m in charge”.
In a tense exchange, he attacked a reporter who repeatedly asked him if he couldn’t guarantee cuts in funding for health, education or the NDIS.
Anthony Albanese (pictured) berated a journalist during a fiery press conference where he was quizzed about his gaffes and how he was going to hold his own against Xi Jinping
Mr Albanese appeared delighted as he clashed with journalists on the campaign trail
Mr Albanese initially responded: “The work will always be better in terms of health, education and NDIS,” before the journalist said, “That’s no guarantee you won’t cut it Mr Albanese?”
The Labor leader then said he had pledged “extra funding” for those areas, but the reporter again asked him not to guarantee any cuts.
At that point, Mr Albanese fired up and said, “Wait. Serious. This is an example of what keeps people away from politics.
“You can’t have a clearer answer than Labor investing extra resources in health, education and the NDIS and we stand by that.
“And do you know what puts people off politics? Such a play on words. It can’t be clearer. We stand by our additional funding. This is not a cut. That’s more funding.’
The Labor leader – dubbed “weak” by Scott Morrison – appeared cheered during press in his home suburb of Marrickville in Sydney’s inner west
Mr. Albanese tussled with the journalists, telling them during the press: “I’m in charge”.
Mr Albanese’s Labor colleagues have accused the press pack of “gotcha journalism” for asking him to name his six-point plan for the NDIS.
But Mr Albanese insisted: “People have a right to ask questions”.
One journalist said, “If you can’t stand up to us, how can you stand up to Xi Jinping?” – which he ignored.
Mr Albanese was also questioned about his health after isolating with Covid last week, with a reporter accusing him of needing an “afternoon nap”.
Asked if he “has yet to rest until Election Day,” Albanese said Covid “is having an impact, isn’t it.”
The reporter replied: “I didn’t have to take a nap in the afternoon, you’re running for prime minister. The question is, are you fit for election day?
The Labor leader then reeled off a list of commitments he had made to prove he was fit.
Mr Morrison, who was campaigning in Perth, said his opponent’s mistakes showed Labor was “weak”.
“Australians are really starting to ask the question – is Anthony Albanese really up to it,” he said.
“If Anthony Albanese thinks the campaign is tough, I have news for him – the government is much tougher.”
Australian opposition leader Anthony Albanese and former Australian soccer player Craig Foster help volunteers pack food baskets during a visit to the Addison Road Community Center in Marrickville
Anthony Albanese addresses the media during a press conference at the Addison Road Community Center
Earlier on Friday, Allison Langdon blasted Mr Albanese for his NDIS slip.
In an interview with Labor Deputy Leader Richard Marles on the Today Show, the Channel Nine host said: “I guess details are his kryptonite”.
In his press conferences this week, Mr Albanese has deferred questions on Labor policy to the relevant shadow minister, prompting accusations that he does not know the details.
On Thursday, he was unable to articulate his six-point plan for the NDIS and had to read from a policy document handed to him off-screen by an adviser.
A Labor MP, speaking anonymously, said he “must get the details across” and another described the presser as a “train wreck”.
Mr Albanese was also questioned about his health after isolating with Covid last week. A reporter accused him of needing an “afternoon nap.”
Langdon said: “It’s not just yesterday, it just happened this week on Monday and Tuesday.”
Mr Marles then stuttered as he tried to defend his leader’s gaffes, before saying: “It’s not a pop quiz. We have guidelines on our website.’
Langdon cut him off and said, “Wait, what do you mean by that… Details don’t matter, is that what you’re saying?”
Marles replied: “Ultimately, this is about ideas and when you talk about NDIS, it’s about people with disabilities no longer being at the center of the system.”
Defense Secretary Peter Dutton said the faux pas showed there was a “huge risk” in voting for Labor.
“You are risking what we have in our country at the moment to a complete unknown and frankly someone who is not up to the task,” he said.
Mr Albanese faced a pack of reporters in Sydney on Thursday where, in response to a barrage of questions, he did not outline his six-point NDIS plan.
All he could say was, “We will put people at the heart of NDIS,” before a reporter exclaimed, “You don’t know your own politics, Mr. Albanese.”
After a few more questions on various subjects, Mr Albanese walked off camera and journalists saw an adviser hand him a document.
Allison Langdon (pictured) blasted Anthony Albanese after he failed to remember one of his key guidelines