Talkback callers today weighed in on all matters debatical: who won, the bias of the worm, the reason for John Howard’s “spasm”, the Prime Minister’s mouth dryness, Kevin Rudd’s smugness and Peter Costello’s heckling.

Crikey talkback caller of the day is Kerryn for her medical diagnosis of Howard’s condition:

2UE (Sydney), Breakfast, 22/10/2007 08:54AM   Compere: Mike Carlton and Ken Sutcliffe
Caller Kerryn talks about PM John Howard’s ‘dry mouth’ during the election debate, and what could have caused it. She says the most common cause is stress.


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  • 2UE (Sydney), Mornings, 22/10/2007 09:40AM Compere: John Laws
    Caller Richard says Rudd won last night’s debate decisively, as he was more confident, answered questions instead of evading them. He says he saw Howard’s spasm. He says he thought Howard was playing catch up to Rudd, and the behaviour of Peter Costello and Alexander Downer was ‘just disgraceful’.
  • AM Radio radio item, ABC 702 Sydney (Sydney), Mornings, 22/10/2007 09:25AM Compere: Virginia Trioli
    Caller Brian has called about the leaders’ debate. He says Johny looked tired and worn and Rudd looked fresh and got his point across more quickly. He says he was impressed with how Rudd handled the Cheshire cat (Peter Costello) and his friends in the front row.
  • 2GB (Sydney), Breakfast, 22/10/2007 09:16AM Compere: Alan Jones
    Caller Leon thought last night’s televised leaders debate was an “absolute farce” because every time Fed Oppn leader Kevin Rudd got up to speak the worm went straight up to plus. Leon says the opposite happened for PM John Howard. Jones says the worm would go way down even before Howard spoke. 
  • 2UE (Sydney), Mornings, 22/10/2007 09:15AM Compere: John Laws
    Caller Deidre says that she went well in her HSC and is now a High School teacher. She is worried for both her son and her students. She says that Rudd looked capable and confident, and now the nation can visualise him as Prime Minister. Laws says he always looks like he’s gotten out of a bath. Deidre agrees Rudd always looks “squeaky clean”.
  • 2UE (Sydney), Breakfast, 22/10/2007 06:47AM   Compere: Mike Carlton and Ken Sutcliffe
    Caller Barry and his daughter were part of the Channel Nine debate audience and were ‘worm operators’. He talks about how it works. He says Ray Martin showed no bias. Barry says his daughter has voted Liberal for the last three elections, but she thought PM John Howard’s performance was ‘very ordinary’.
  • 2GB (Sydney), Breakfast, 22/10/2007 06:16AM   Compere: Alan Jones
    Caller Maureen says in the debate last night no one mentioned the pensioners. Maureen says she wants an amount to live on. Maureen says she’s paid her taxes, and is also a volunteer.
  • 2UE (Sydney), Breakfast, 22/10/2007 08:38AM   Compere: Mike Carlton and Ken Sutcliffe
    Caller David says PM John Howard’s spasm happened one hour and four minutes into the election debate. He says it looked like ‘a minor stroke’. He says Howard was being asked a question about Iraq by Chris Uhlmann. He describes Howard’s face. He says it lasted three and a half seconds. He says it’s wasn’t nerves but something more.
  • 2SM (Sydney), Mornings, 22/10/2007 09:14AM Compere: Leon Delaney
    Caller Norm wonders how Ray Martin, TV presenter, determined who were the undecided voters they used last night. He says people can claim what they want. He says the Today Show had a poll about whether the worm was biased and most people thought it was. Norm says people do not like Julia Gillard, Federal Deputy Labor Leader, and are worried about her becoming PM if something happens to her.
  • 2GB (Sydney), Breakfast, 22/10/2007 08:58AM Compere: Alan Jones
    Caller Anthony says he would have like to have seen Jones on the debate, debating Kevin Rudd. Jones says he has better things to do with himself on a Sunday night.
  • 2UE (Sydney), Breakfast, 22/10/2007 08:49AM Compere: Mike Carlton and Ken Sutcliffe
    Caller Cathleen says PM John Howard was just getting up tight during the election debate, and his facial expression was just nerves. Cathleen says Alexander Downer and Peter Costello should have been ordered out, as would have happened if it were her or the Chaser team.
  • ABC Newcastle (Newcastle), Breakfast, 22/10/2007 07:29AM Compere: Aaron Kearney
    Jo says
    Kevin Rudd in her view won the debate after early nerves. John Howard sounded nervous and very tired, suffering a dry mouth.
  • 2UE (Sydney), Breakfast, 22/10/2007 07:24AM   Compere: Mike Carlton and Ken Sutcliffe
    Caller June thinks PM John Howard was having problems with his teeth during the election debate and this is what made it look like he was having a spasm.
  • WS FM (Sydney), Breakfast , 22/10/2007 07:22AM   Compere: Jonesy and Amanda Keller
    Caller Gavin thinks Prime Minister John Howard won the debate, and the worm should be called the snake.
  • 2UE (Sydney), Breakfast, 22/10/2007 06:50AM   Compere: Mike Carlton and Ken Sutcliffe
    Caller Helen says she thought PM John Howard’s ‘spasm’ during the debate was emotional. She says it reminded her of Malcolm Fraser’s lip tremble.


  • ABC 774 Melbourne (Melbourne), Mornings, 22/10/2007 09:36AM Compere: Jon Faine
    Caller Glen says the debate last night gave the advantage to the incumbent government. Glen says Labor Leader Kevin Rudd is yet to release more details on his education policy. Glen says he is a retired accountant who thinks tax thresholds, rebates, etc are only understood by the bureaucracy.
  • 3AW (Melbourne), Morning, 22/10/2007 09:27AM Compere: Neil Mitchell
    Caller Chris says Opp Leader Kevin Rudd is more concerned about appearance than any substance, and noticed him putting this mics down in the debate to make him look taller. Chris says Rudd did not explain how he would solve climate change, and by 2050 Rudd will be dead anyway, he says Rudd lost him on this issue. Chris still thinks Rudd won the great debate.
  • ABC Gippsland (Sale), Mornings, 22/10/2007 09:17AM Compere: Gerard Callinan
    Caller Darren Chester is a member of the Nationals and thought the whole debate lacked any real depth on regional issues.
  • ABC 774 Melbourne (Melbourne), Mornings, 22/10/2007 08:42AM   Compere: Jon Faine
    Caller Jenny says she is concerned about [Kevin] Rudd’s lack of detail regarding his greenhouse emissions targets. She says she is sick of the term working families. She praises [John] Howard for his comments on greenhouse target.
  • 3AW (Melbourne), Morning, 22/10/2007 08:40AM   Compere: Neil Mitchell
    Caller Benita says her family of four believe that Kevin Rudd, Federal Opposition Leader, ALP, did not perform well in the debate, and that he did not answer questions about the Kyoto Protocol or climate change issue.
  • ABC 774 Melbourne (Melbourne), Mornings, 22/10/2007 08:39AM   Compere: Jon Faine
    Caller Andrew says he found it amusing that Peter Costello, Federal Treasurer, was heckling from the audience [during the debate]. Faine wonders if Costello was heckling Kevin Rudd or John Howard.
  • 3AW (Melbourne), Morning, 22/10/2007 08:38AM   Compere: Neil Mitchell
    Caller Rick says that John Howard, Australian Prime Minister, actually performed well last night at the debates and that Kevin Rudd, Federal Opposition Leader, ALP, waffled too much. He says it was an improvement by Howard on his last debate with Mark Latham, former politician.
  • NOVA 100.3 (Melbourne), Breakfast , 22/10/2007 06:56AM   Compere: Kate Langbroek and Dave Hughes
    Caller Steve says Mr Howard won by a mile because Mr Rudd did not answer questions. Caller Ben says Mr Rudd won the debate as he spoke with more honesty, while Mr Howard is ugly looking.


  • 2CC (Canberra), Breakfast, 22/10/2007 08:08AM Compere: Mike Jeffreys
    Talkback – – Caller David discusses the debate and found it a sham as they did not debate real issues and claims that there was a lack of substance in Kevin Rudd with the Prime Minister having far more spirit in him. David discusses the intervention into the Northern Territory with note that they are failing.
  • ABC 666 Canberra (Canberra), Early Breakfast, 22/10/2007 07:39AM   Compere: Ross Solly
    Caller Judy says she thought Mr Howard won the debate convincingly. She says she was disappointed about the education policy of Kevin Rudd.
  • 2CC (Canberra), Breakfast, 22/10/2007 07:15AM   Compere: Mike Jeffreys
    Talkback caller John says if he were Prime Minister John Howard he would have asked Federal Opposition leader Kevin Rudd some tougher questions on climate change. Caller says he would like to see a debate between Federal Treasurer Peter Costello and Federal Opposition treasury spokesman Wayne Swan.


  • Easy Listening 846 AM (Cairns), John Mackenzie, 22/10/2007 09:31AM Compere: John MacKenzie
    Caller, Peter, about last night’s leader’s debate between Prime Minister, John Howard and Federal Opposition Leader, Kevin Rudd saying he believes the Worm was rigged due to the hand-picked audience of the TV station involved but does know for what motivation, adding there is no doubt about the political preferences of Channel Nine journo, Ray Martin. Peter says the worm rose even before Rudd began talking and Mackenzie agrees. 
  • ABC 612 Brisbane (Brisbane), Mornings, 22/10/2007 09:06AM   Compere: Madonna King
    Caller Peter thinks both Opp Leader Kevin Rudd and PM John Howard lost the great debate because they didn’t talk about the big issues like Govt debt or using natural gas instead of nuclear power.


  • ABC 936 Hobart (Hobart), Statewide Mornings, 22/10/2007 09:25AM Compere: Tim Cox
    Gordon speaks about John Howard’s reiteration of his anti-union thoughts. Gordon speaks about unions, noting how many unions there are and how important they are. He says the unions in th Labor party represent probably hundreds of different organisations. He says this constant reiteration of the unions being evil of society is offensive.
  • HEART FM (Hobart), Across Australia, 22/10/2007 10:51AM   Compere: Charles Wooley
    Caller Evelyn says of the debate that PM John Howard looked very old and strained. Evelyn would like to ask Wayne Swan, Federal Shadow Treasurer about the low income tax offset for senior Australians.
  • HEART FM (Hobart), Across Australia, 22/10/2007 10:50AM Compere: Charles Wooley
    Caller Florence says she enjoyed PM John Howard’s performance in the debate and the thinks Kevin Rudd is “too smooth”. Florence does not like the worm.
  • HEART FM (Hobart), Across Australia, 22/10/2007 10:35AM Compere: Charles Wooley
    Caller Jack says Kevin Rudd won the debate but nobody mentioned older people, who built the country.
  • HEART FM (Hobart), Across Australia, 22/10/2007 10:28AM Compere: Charles Wooley
    Caller Barbara says she watched the leaders debate on Channel Nine, which she thinks is a waste of time and money as they said nothing new. Barbara says Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd had a smirk on his face every time he talked.
  • HEART FM (Hobart), Across Australia, 22/10/2007 10:26AM Compere: Charles Wooley
    Caller Jean says she thinks Opposition leader Kevin Rudd won the leaders debate, irrespective of the worm. Jean says the more Coalition members discuss the union membership of the Labor frontbench, the more Jean thinks that there is a person working hard for the working class. 
  • HEART FM (Hobart), Across Australia, 22/10/2007 10:23AM Compere: Charles Wooley
    Anthony says he is a single parent with three kids, and says he could not afford to buy a Laptop and wait 12 months for a rebate, under a policy promoted by Mr Rudd.