Barnaby Joyce has been asked some tricky questions while promoting his new book, but none more awkward than the one Charlie Pickering posed to him on Wednesday night.
During an interview on ABC’s The Weekly, the host used the opportunity to ask the former deputy prime minister about the dedication in his memoir Weatherboard and Iron: Politics, The Bush and Me.
The newly published book is dedicated to Barnaby’s four daughters, Bridgette, 20, Julia, 19, Caroline, 17, and Odette, 15, and his son with new partner Vikki Campion, Sebastian.
It reads: “I could have given you a life outside the spotlight I turned on you. I wanted the best for you, but was blinded in the glare of the exertion.”
Pickering’s point on this was less of a question and more of a statement we’ve all been thinking.
“Are your daughters embarrassed by you?” the host asked.
Barnaby response was typical of any politicians, attempting to bring it back to positive policy.
“Charlie, I love my daughters dearly. And I love my son. And I think that what we’ve got to do is make sure we have a nation where there are opportunities if they live in a regional town, a small town, as good as your opportunities where you are.”
Equally grimace-inducing for the politician was when the satirist asked Barnaby how he promotes his colleagues after alleging on Sunday Night some of them told he and Vikki to terminate their pregnancy.
Barnaby responded by suggesting that he was putting the good of his constituents over his personal views saying, "if your role in politics is to sit quietly on the backbench, say nothing and vote as required, I don’t think you’re doing your full job".
Pickering wasn't the only one putting the tough questions to the 51-year-old during his book tour.
When the Today show hosts picked up that the politician's memoir doesn't feature any photos of his daughters, they put it to Barnaby.
He replied he had omitted any images of them out of "respect" to their privacy.
"What's different is obviously people have been discussing Sebastian, and he's been on television, and I just think young children are different."
"Adults have their own personalities and I just know what it's like to be in the public spotlight, and I don't particularly want my daughters to be any more in the public spotlight than what I have already put them in."
Meanwhile, Ben Fordham quizzed Barnaby on why exactly he waited until after the results of the New England by-election had been announced to tell the public about his marriage breakdown.
On Wednesday the former Nationals leader tried to insist that voters knew about he and wife Natalie's separation because he had told his party and his family were no longer appearing at events on his campaign trail.
But when the 2GB radio presenter pointed out that it was actually four days after the election that he made the announcement in parliament he conceded that he kept it quiet, explaining it was for privacy reasons.
"When you’ve got a family you try to keep things… unless you have to tell people you don’t want to because it hurts so many people."
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