11 of Tony Abbott's most cringeworthy, embarrassing and offensive moments


Ousted Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has a long history of gaffes and blunders, many of which have landed him in hot water over his two-years in power.

Here are ten of the best (or worst):

1. "Shit Happens"

In what could be one of Abbott's most offensive clangers, Abbott says "shit happens" when discussing the circumstances surrounding the death of a Queensland soldier in Afghanistan.

2. The onion moment

Abbott inexplicably eats an onion. He later says it was to show support for Australia's onion growers.

3. The wink

During a radio show Q+A, Abbott winks after a caller tells him she has been forced to work on an adult sex hotline to pay for rising medical costs.

4. Sex appeal

Abbott talks about the sex appeal of his Western Sydney candidate. He tried to justify it later by saying he had a "dad moment" and was a "bit exuberant".

5. Awkward St Patrick's Day message

And of course, the drinking stereotypes and green tie are there.

6. "Canadia"

 Abbott invents a new country.

7.  "Join Team Australia"

Abbott turns immigration into a sport when he calls on new arrivals to become "first-class Australians" and join "team Australia". 

8.  Using Jesus to justify asylum seeker policies.

Abbott says during a Q+A "don't forget Jesus drove the traitors from the temple as well," when asked how Jesus would handle asylum seekers.

9. The first fleet's arrival "Australia's defining moment"

Abbott forgets there were people already in Australia when the British landed. 

10. Making Prince Philip a knight

Even one of Abbott's fiercest supporters, columnist Andrew Bolt, called it "pathetically stupid" and potentially fatal.

11. "Holocaust of job losses"

Abbott accuses Labor of causing a "holocaust of job losses" during question time. He quickly withdrew the remark and later apologised after it caused an outcry.

source: data archive