Over on ABC RN Radio, Anne Ruston (she is busy this morning) is asked, as the Coalition campaign spokesperson why Katherine Deves is on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald.
Patricia Karvelas wants to know if it is an authorised interview, given how closely campaigns control who speaks, when – and until recently, Deves was not doing any interviews.
Q: Anne Ruston, the liberal candidate for Warringah, Katherine Daves is on the front page of the paper this morning. Is the plan to keep her views on transgender people in the news?
The comments that have been made by Ms Deves, I would distance myself from them entirely.
I think they’ve been insensitive and they have not taken into regard the…
Q: [How did she end up] on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald?
Well, obviously, that’s a matter for the Sydney Morning Herald.
Q: No, it’s not. No, it’s not. It’s a matter for your campaign. You’re a spokesperson for your campaign. How did she sit down and do this interview? Are you trying to get her views on the agenda?
As I was saying, I think the views that have been [expressed], the way that Ms Deves has expressed her views about some very, very important but very sensitive issues has been insensitive. I would not use the terminology that she has used and I would distance myself…
Q: But my question is different. How did she get on the front page? Why did she agree to this interview? Is this authorised by your campaign?
Well, as I said, whether it was how she’s the story has come on to the front page of the paper is a matter for the publication.
Q: But no, it’s a matter for your party. She is your endorsed candidate.
Well, the decision around where the comments are a matter for the paper to decide.
Q: No I’m sorry, but I want to know whether your campaign authorised this interview.
Well, as far as I’m aware, I wouldn’t know necessarily but I would highly doubt that our campaign would authorise the kinds of comments that have been made by Ms Deves because we have distanced ourselves from those comments.
Q: But somehow, she’s on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald in the last days of the campaign. Are you alarmed by that?
Well, the issue that Ms Deves is raising are very important issues for Australians to have a conversation about but as I continue to repeat, some of the comments from Ms Deves, I believe have been insensitive, and they haven’t taken into regard the the impact that they would have on the people, particularly those young people