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Rudd struggles to hold back tears -

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Rudd struggles to hold back tears

Broadcast: 24/06/2010

Reporter: Karen Barlow

Ousted Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had a meteoric rise to the leadership of the ALP and Australia,
and an even more spectacular fall.

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: As Kevin '07, Kevin Rudd had a meteoric rise to the prime ministership.
Today he's had a spectacular fall to earth

In an emotional press conference Mr Rudd struggled to hold back tears as he talked about his
achievements and left his disappointments to history.

Karen Barlow reports.

KAREN BARLOW, REPORTER: A generational change swept through Australian politics with the election
of a Mandarin speaking Kevin '07 two and half years ago.

After almost 12 years of coalition government under John Howard Australians voted resoundingly for
a change.

KEVIN RUDD, FORMER AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER (2007): And I say tonight to the nation, I will never
take their sacred trust for granted.

KAREN BARLOW: And for the first time a Labor Prime Minister had risen to the top without
allegiances to party factions.

PROFESSOR ROSS FITZGERALD, POLITICAL HISTORIAN: Because he did not have any factual support that
when he fell over, he'd fell over like a pack of cards. And his style was incredibly autocratic,
incredibly controlling so he didn't listen to the ordinary punter.

KAREN BARLOW: Some election promises were quickly fulfilled. A standout was apologising to the
stolen generations.

KEVIN RUDD (February 2008): On behalf of the Government of Australia I am sorry. On behalf of the
Parliament of Australia I am sorry. And I offer you this apology without qualification.

(Applause)

KAREN BARLOW: Kevin Rudd struggled today to recount that time.

KEVIN RUDD: ...(Shaky voice) They were frightened. (Pause) Our job was to make them welcome.

KAREN BARLOW: Kevin Rudd also ratified the Kyoto Protocol and called climate change the greatest
moral challenge of our time.

In the middle of the global financial downturn economic stimulus was needed.

KEVIN RUDD: I'm proud of the fact that we kept Australia out of the global economic recession.

KAREN BARLOW: Unable to pass an emissions trading scheme, Kevin Rudd still sees climate change as
unfinished business.

KEVIN RUDD: And if I had one point of future policy it must be our ambition to pass a carbon
pollution reduction scheme within this parliament - the one that follows, I mean - so that we can
make a difference, a real difference to climate change.

KAREN BARLOW: Other promises began to tumble and under the Government's home insulation scheme,
four young men died.

KEVIN RUDD: I'm disappointed in myself for not asking more questions.

KAREN BARLOW: Kevin Rudd demanded all from the people around him. He earned grumbles from
Commonwealth public servants forced to work late into the night and he was criticised for a failure
to consult.

ROSS FITZGERALD: He surrounded himself with a small group of yes people and he didn't listen to the
concerns of the general public and didn't really listen to the concerns of his own backbench.

KAREN BARLOW: A sudden loss in popularity in May lead to his undoing just as he was trying to do a
deal with miners on the controversial super profits tax.

BARRY JONES, FORMER ALP PRESIDENT: There were a lot of people who said 'Well we don't like him but
at least you've got to say the bastard is a big election winner' and when there was some indication
that the numbers were declining it made him extremely vulnerable I think.

KAREN BARLOW: Kevin Rudd's political career is down but not out. He says he will recontest his
Queensland seat of Griffith at the next election.

Karen Barlow, Lateline.