‘Gutless grubs’: Fury over PM's photo
REMEMBER those remarkable photos of Scott Morrison at church on Easter Sunday?
They didn't exactly spark the reaction he was looking for.
Mr Morrison took the unusual step of inviting cameras inside his Pentecostal church in Sydney's south.
Three rows from the front, with his wife Jenny by his side, Mr Morrison sang and clapped along with the rest of the congregation, which numbered almost 1000.
"Today is a reminder of the great hope, and the reason for that hope is the reason we celebrate today," Mr Morrison told reporters afterwards.
"It's a very special time for me and my family but I know for people around the country and frankly all around the world."
It was the first time the media had been allowed to see Mr Morrison practising his faith at his own church, which has been a "bedrock" of his family since they moved to the Shire.
But the photos sparked a surprising backlash on social media. Some people felt the Prime Minister's decision to allow cameras inside was inappropriate. Others were clearly uncomfortable with Mr Morrison's faith.
Then there were those who just thought the photos looked weird.
Yesterday Mr Morrison hit back at the people who had mocked him in an extraordinary spray.
"There was another one, another group, who was likening my praise in my own church on the weekend to some sort of Hitler salute," Mr Morrison said.
"I mean, it's disgusting. Australians are bigger than that. And I know that the great majority of Australians are bigger than that.
"These grubs are gutless and keyboard warriors in their mother's basement, trying to make heroes of themselves."
This distraction is the last thing the Prime Minister wants to talk about at the moment.
Today he is out and about in Adelaide, trying to sell voters on his promise to create 250,000 new small and family businesses over the next five years.
"Wherever small businesses are finding difficulties, we're just taking the burden off small and family businesses. That's how you create jobs, that's how you lift wages," Mr Morrison told Sky News this morning.
He faced awkward questions on another subject though - specifically, the fact that Clive Palmer's incessant TV ads and billboards seem to be working.
A Newspoll of four marginal seats out today shows a surge in support for Mr Palmer's United Australia Party.
The UAP recorded a stunning primary vote of 14 per cent in the Queensland seat Herbert, where its candidate is former State of Origin player Greg Dowling.
The party is sitting on a vote of 8 per cent in Pearce (WA), 7 per cent in Lindsay (NSW) and 5 per cent in Deakin (VIC).
The average of those primary votes, which is about 8 per cent, would put the UAP ahead of One Nation and potentially give it the balance of power in the Senate.
It's also double what Mr Palmer got at the 2013 election with his old Palmer United Party.
Mr Palmer has spent more than $30 million on advertising so far, and you probably shouldn't expect those ads to leave your screens anytime soon.
The situation raises an obvious problem for Mr Morrison. He might need to work with a man, Mr Palmer, who once called him a Nazi.
Sky News hosts Laura Jayes and Keiran Gilbert asked the Prime Minister whether he would do a preference deal with the UAP.
"You can expect that we're talking to a number of parties. We can confirm those arrangements going into next week," Mr Morrison said, before trying to deflect the question towards Labor.
"I tell you who the Labor Party will be talking to. They'll be talking to the Greens, as usual."
Mr Morrison said the increase in support for Mr Palmer was a sign the election would be extremely close.
"Everybody's vote will matter. Everyone watching, your vote will matter," he told viewers.