Labor made a mistake in switching leaders so late in the election cycle, leading businessman Roger Corbett believes.
The Reserve Bank governor and Fairfax Media chairman says Mr Rudd’s conduct since he was dumped in 2010 has discredited his own leadership.
“He’s a man that really has done the Labor Party enormous damage, destabilised it and is now wishing to present himself to the Australian people as a prime minister,” Mr Corbett told ABC TV on Tuesday.
“I don’t think the Australian people will cop that.”
Mr Rudd’s undermining of Julia Gillard and Labor in the 2010 election put the party in the position where it had to form a minority government.
“I think if they come undone in these elections it would have been much better that they’d come undone with Julia Gillard leading them than Kevin Rudd,” Mr Corbett said.
He said Labor also mis-stepped in dragging the public service into its attempts to force the coalition to release full policy costings.
Last week Mr Rudd released what he said were Treasury and Finance costings of coalition policies that showed gaps in Mr Abbott’s claims.
The heads of those two departments quickly distanced themselves from the move.
Mr Corbett says the whole affair damaged Labor’s credibility further.
All the opinion polls are pointing to a decisive coalition victory in Saturday’s election.
Mr Corbett said if that comes to pass, Tony Abbott will make a good prime minister.
“He’s a very sincere, nice type of human being … he’ll be very dedicated, focused in the job,” he said.
“We certainly need, in the economic times we are about to go into, some really clear and good leadership.”
The Fairfax media boss also criticised the strong bias of News Corp Australia newspapers during the election, saying it damaged the credibility of the press as a whole.
“I’d never ring a journalist or never ring an editor and suggest a paper was imbalanced in a particular way,” he said.