Tony Abbott regrets comment

Updated: 09:01, Sunday April 1, 2012

Tony Abbott regrets comment

Australia’s federal opposition leader Friday expressed regret on national TV for ‘inappropriate banter’ he made earlier in the week, regarding the size of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s behind.

Oddly enough, the furor stems from comments feminist author Germaine Greer made during a talk show on the ABC, the national broadcaster, Monday night when she said the prime minister wore ill-fitting jackets.

‘What I want her to do is get rid of those bloody jackets. You’ve got a big arse, Julia; just get on with it,’ Greer said, using the Australia term for a backside.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott got involved Tuesday night while attending a community forum in rural Victoria, The Australian reported.

A woman said to him about Labor’s Gillard, ‘Get some of those jackets off her,’ to which Abbott replied, ‘I know, I know, I know. Germaine Greer was right on that subject.’

Unfortunately for the Liberal Party leader, the exchange was caught by a TV crew and it aired across the country Thursday.

Abbott backed away from his comments in a TV interview Friday morning, The Australian reported.

‘It was an off-the-cuff remark responding to an observation from a member of the public. I shouldn’t have said it and I regret it,’ he said.

‘I’m a bloke and I’ve learned a long time you should never comment on these sorts of subjects. What I discovered the other day is that I shouldn’t really comment on other people’s comments either.’

Abbott is known as a fitness fanatic and is famous, or perhaps infamous, in Australia for his love of wearing a skimpy pair of red Speedos (a brand of swimwear) on his regular visits to the nation’s beaches.

He has previously landed in hot water for telling women their virginity was a ‘precious gift’ they should not give away lightly.

He has also drawn fire for implying that women should do the vast majority of the household domestic duties such as ironing.

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