Rudd set to campaign with Gillard

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Former prime minister Kevin Rudd has fronted the media to restate that he will campaign with his successor Julia Gillard to ensure Labor is reelected at the August 21 poll.

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Mr Rudd, who was ousted in June, said it had been a difficult time since then, but he would join the fight to stop Opposition Leader Tony Abbott winning.

He said he would meet Ms Gillard on Saturday, and would help with the national campaign. “But there are much bigger things at stake than my future and that is our country’s future,” he said.

“Elections are a serious business – they are about who governs … they are about fundamental choices, about who we put into power.

“There is a real danger at present because of the rolling political controversy about myself that Mr Abbott is simply able to slide quickly into the office of prime minister without any proper scrutiny … or any real debate about how he would govern Australia.

“I can’t be silent while knowing Mr Abbott has opposed those measures which kept Australia out of the global recession.”

Mr Rudd was discharged from hospital on Monday after surgery to remove his gall bladder.

“It just turned out to be a little more painful than I anticipated and the recovery a little slower than I had thought,” he said.

“I am definitely on the mend.”

He’ll undergo another checkup on Saturday before hitting the campaign trail in Queensland and possibly NSW.

Mr Rudd said Ms Gillard had asked him to join the national campaign.

“I have said yes to that request,” he said.

“I’ll be hitting the campaign trail in various parts of Queensland, NSW and elsewhere, all to support good local candidates and strong local members, to bring the necessary focus in this national election campaign about what Mr Abbott would do to

Australia if he was prime minister of Australia rather than concede to his strategy of simply trying to slide in on the quiet.”

Mr Rudd said the government had much work to finish in terms of economic growth and building schools and hospitals.

“I don’t intend to stand idly by and watch Mr Abbott tear all of that down,” he said.

“I don’t believe Mr Abbott is a bad person. I do believe his policies are bad for Australia.”

Mr Rudd declined to take any questions from reporters.