Australian politician steals speech from "The American President"

Australian Transport Minister Anthony Albanese speaks at the City of Sydney forum Sept. 16, 2009 in Sydney, Australia.
Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

(CBS) Australians were listening when Labour Party member Anthony Albanese had some choice words to say about the opposition leader Tony Abbott to the National Press Club in Canberra.

"In Australia we have serious challenges to solve and we need serious people to solve them. Unfortunately Tony Abbot is not the least bit interested in fixing anything," Albanese said.

"He is only interested in two things, making Australians afraid of it and telling them who is to blame for it."

The words had a rousing magic to them - movie magic, that is.

That's because Albanese's lines are strikingly similar to the speech given by fictional U.S. President Andrew Shepherd, played by Michael Douglas in the 1995 box office hit "The American President."

According to the Telegraph, Liberal Party's Federal Director Brian Loughnane thought the words sounded similar to the famous film speech, and made a video comparing the two. (Watch the video below.)

In "The American President" Shepherd says, "We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious men to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, friend, I promise you, Bob Rumson is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things and two things only, making you afraid of it and telling you who's to blame for it."

The rousing press room speech from climax of "The American President" was the work of screenwriter Aaron Sorkin -- who went on to demonstrate his knack for sounding presidential in four seasons of "The West Wing," starring American President co-star Martin Sheen. Sorkin is also penned films like "A Few Good Men," "Charlie Wilson's War," and "The Social Network."

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Albanese didn't notice the almost-verbatim words because a speechwriter had prepared his statement.

He did, however, come up with a cheeky retort on his Twitter account. ''D'oh! Stuff up (for the record, that comes from another great American, Homer Simpson)," he tweeted.

And here's the full Michael Douglas speech for your goosebumps-inducing pleasure.

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