Election 2022: Barnaby Joyce says he is a ‘beautiful balloon’ after Scott Morrison says he is a ‘bulldozer’

If Scott Morrison thinks he’s a “bulldozer”, Barnaby Joyce believes he is more like a “beautiful balloon”.

That was the weird topic of discussion that took place while the Deputy Prime Minister spoke to journalists in Gladstone on Friday afternoon.

Hours earlier, Mr Morrison had conceded he would need to change if he was re-elected as prime minister.

He said Australians had come to know him as “a bit of a bulldozer” because the pandemic hadn’t allowed him to show Australians the “other gears in the way I work”.

That prompted one very serious question to Mr Joyce on his campaign trail: “In your approach to politics, what piece of machinery are you most like?”

“I’m like a beautiful balloon that floats lovingly across,” Mr Joyce began, starting to laugh.

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In his trademark style, he then changed the topic.

“No, look, I think the big issue is that you make sure you stay humble,” he continued.

“That is always important.”

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says he’s a ‘beautiful balloon’. NCA NewsWire/ Andrew Taylor
Camera IconDeputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says he’s a ‘beautiful balloon’. NCA NewsWire/ Andrew Taylor Credit: NCA NewsWire

He said politicians had to remember one thing when they were out and about in places like bowling clubs speaking to voters: “You’re actually meeting your boss.”

“They pay your wage. And you might feel a bit awkward saying g’day to them out of the blue, but they actually have a right to talk to their employees – that it is, the politician.

“Those people, the taxpayers, pay a wage because they vote for you. They are your boss and respect that and do your job.”

The Nationals leader also conceded that he and Mr Morrison weren’t “besties” in the wake of the leaked text message scandal.

In those messages Mr Joyce labelled the Prime Minister a “hypocrite and liar”.

But the Deputy Prime Minister said he respected Mr Morrison for being tough – and he’d just go to the pub if he was looking for a friend.

“In my business relationship with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, he has honoured every agreement that I’ve ever made with him,” he said.

“And some of them have been very, very tough – but I respect that.

“That’s what I want. If I want besties, I’ll go to the pub on a Friday night.

“But in politics, I want someone I can trust that honours agreements. And I acknowledge that he’s tough and you know what? He’s got to be, he’s running the country.”

Mr Joyce was asked if he also needed to change his approach if re-elected, like Mr Morrison.

“If you mean is everything I did perfect?” he asked.

“No, it’s far from it.

“And every day you’re sort of reflecting on how you could do the job better.”

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