Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd calls on Donald Trump to ‘put big boy pants on’

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has joined calls for US President Trump to “put his big boy pants on” and accept defeat as he urged Australia to accept more ambitious climate change targets.

Scott Morrison is now being urged to “pivot” on climate change policy in the wake of the election of Joe Biden as the United States’ 46th President by not only Mr Rudd but his predecessor Malcolm Turnbull.

“I think it really provides the opportunity, as Kevin said, for Morrison to pivot,’’ Mr Turnbull said on Sunday.

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“Now is the time for Scott Morrison to say — right, the global landscape has changed, the people that have been holding us back, holding the Coalition and the country back on this issue are out of the way — I don’t have to go on with all of the BS about a gas-led recovery which is political piffle.

“Focus on cutting emissions, cheap electricity, zero emissions. This is the time to pivot, otherwise, he’s going to look like out on the extreme with Saudi Arabia, for heaven’s sake, as some kind of a carbon economy.”

Asked if he expected a smooth transition of power, Mr Rudd told the ABC’s Insiders on Sunday that it was time for President Trump to “put on his big boy pants.”

“It really does depend on two factors, I think. One is what President Trump does personally and whether he decides to put on his big boy pants, as someone said recently in the United States, and act like a grown-up in this period of transition,’’ Mr Rudd said.

“And, two, the attitude of the Murdoch media and the Fox network in the future because this is the media base of the entire Trump and far-right Republican phenomenon. And so those are the two critical dynamics here.”

Mr Rudd replied on Sunday “Absolutely” when asked if Australia should embrace more ambitious climate change targets.

“And you see, you cannot get to mid-century carbon neutrality unless you have a more ambitious trajectory to 2030,’’ he said.

“Before the Labor Party gets to the next Federal Election, they will have to. But they will be working their way through this in the meantime. Morrison is the Government now. He has nowhere to move on this. He must act.”

Earlier, Mr Turnbull tweeted, “What a relief”, in relation to this declaration of victory for Joe Biden.

“Well, it’s — look, it’s a relief to have a return to normal transmission, to have a — an administration that is going to be consistent, that isn’t going to be, you know, making decisions by wild tweets in the early hours of the morning, this isn’t going to be walking out of global treaties and alliances, you know, discombobulating friends and foes alike,’’ he said.

But he rejected speculation that Mr Trump would need to be dragged kicking and screaming from the White House.

“If Trump wants to go to the courts in the United States, well, you know, that’s a matter for him,’’ he said.

“But ultimately, I have no doubt that he will go. There is no way that he is going to try to barricade himself into the White House. That’s too absurd, even in the rather surreal environment of the Trump administration.”

Scott Morrison joined other world leaders on Sunday congratulating president-elect Joe Biden and while he did not mention climate change on social media it was canvassed in a prepared statement.

“On behalf of the Australian Government, I congratulate President-elect Joe Biden on his election as the 46th President of the United States and wish him every success for his term in office,’’ he said

Mr Morrison stressed “new technologies” to reduce emissions rather than a trading scheme or tougher targets.

“We also look forward to working with president-elect Biden and his administration to continue to fight the COVID-19 global pandemic and recession, to develop a vaccine, drive a global economic recovery, and develop new technologies to reduce global emissions as we practically confront the challenge of climate change. We welcome the president-elect’s commitment to multilateral institutions and strengthening democracies.

Mr Morrison also acknowledged and thanked President Donald J. Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for their contribution to the Australia-US relationship.

“We will continue to work closely with President Trump and his administration in the transition period between now and 20 January,’’ he said.

Australia’s ambassador to the United States Arthur Sinodinos said: “We’re taking the position that the election has been called.”

“The President has the right to contest this in the courts, but we, the UK, New Zealand, Canada,

India, France, Germany and others have taken a view based on the information that’s been provided by the networks and others who have called it that this is the case,’’ Mr Sinodinos told Insiders.

“But as I say, it’s a free country. These – these matters can be challenged in the courts.”

Labor leader Anthony Albanese congratulated the President-elect and Ms Harris “on a victory delivered with record support with a progressive agenda based on decency, honest government, creating opportunity and dealing with the pandemic and the challenge of climate change”.

“Congratulations to @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris on a victory delivered with record support with a progressive agenda based on decency, honest government, creating opportunity and dealing with the pandemic and the challenge of climate change,’’ he said.

“The US alliance has been our most important partnership since WW2 and your commitment to leadership will see this strengthened into the future.”

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