Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has challenged Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to a series of head-to-head debates before the election campaign.

In an exclusive interview with 7.30, Mr Rudd called for a series of debates and said Mr Abbott could choose the topics.

"Mr Abbott, I think it's time you demonstrated to the country you had a bit of ticker on this," he said.

"I mean, he's the boxing blue, I'm the glasses-wearing kid in the library.

"Come on, lets have the Australian people form a view about whether his policies actually have substance, whether they actually work or whether they are just slogans."

Mr Abbott has resisted Mr Rudd's repeated calls to take parts in debates outside of the traditional election campaign.

Mr Rudd also attacked the Coalition's asylum seeker policy and said Mr Abbott's campaigning had been run on "lies".

"[The] whole program rests on house of cards based on lies [about] debt and deficit and Indonesia," he said.

Watch 7.30 tonight on ABC1 to see the full interview.

 

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