National’s campaign is a train wreck. Its defining feature so far has been three attempted dirty hits, each one of them an epic fail.
Hit 1: The bungled superannuation attack on Winston Peters. It was supposed to knock out NZF so the Nats could assimilate their vote. But it failed. They came at the kingmaker and missed. NZF is still there and Winston is pissed.
Winston Peters warned he was being ‘taken down’ by National
Peters maintains National to blame for leak
Winston Peters accuses National of ‘filth and dirt’
— Bryce Edwards (@bryce_edwards) August 29, 2017
Hit 2: The unnecessary attack on human rights. Paula Bennett spoke National’s truth that must not be spoken, that they regard some people as having fewer human rights than others (English stood by as she said it and did nothing). The reaction was so immediate and so strong that the Nats were forced into humilating damage control.
Lawyers condemn Paula Bennett’s ‘fewer human rights’ comments
Paula Bennett apologises for ‘fewer human rights’ comment
Paula Bennett apologises for blunder which forced PM to offer a correction on live Breakfast TV
— Rod Emmerson (@rodemmerson) September 5, 2017
Hit 3: Steven Joyce’s deliberate lie about Labour’s fiscal plan (now repeated by Bill English, Paula Bennett, and others). He’s been torn apart by economists all over the media all week. National’s economic credibility is in tatters.
National’s fiscal claims ‘pure fiction’ – economists
Joyce looks a proper fool, but it won’t stop National throwing everything it can at Ardern
‘It’s a hole he dug himself’ – Jacinda Ardern takes big swipe at Steven Joyce over fictional $11b budget blowout claim
The real location of the fiscal hole is discovered – cartoon on Steven Joyce's fiscal allegations by Chicane in today's Southland Times: pic.twitter.com/ceSgn8ZBAS
— Bryce Edwards (@bryce_edwards) September 5, 2017
This is what an amoral party in a desperate third-term death spiral looks like.