Opposition Leader Tony Abbott won't be boycotting Alan Jones's radio program, after declaring the 2GB broadcaster's comments about Prime Minister Julia Gillard's father 'wrong, unacceptable and offensive'.
The veteran Sydney breakfast presenter, who returned to the airwaves on Tuesday morning, admitted he was wrong to say in a speech at a Sydney University Liberal Club function that Mr Gillard had died of 'shame' because of Ms Gillard's political 'lies'.
As the government continued to try to link the remarks to Mr Abbott, Treasurer Wayne Swan said 'bully boys and whingers' like Jones and his 'poster boy' Mr Abbott were skewing the national debate with 'bile, aggression and needless personal abuse'.
But Mr Abbott told reporters in Newcastle the Labor government blamed him for everything.
'Someone gets a flat tyre on the way to work, well that's Tony Abbott's fault,' he said.
'As far as I'm concerned, as far as my coalition colleagues are concerned, what Alan Jones said was wrong, unacceptable, offensive.
'He's admitted that, he's apologised.'
Mr Abbott said it was 'very important we conduct our political debate in civil language'.
However, the leader would continue his regular appearances on Jones's program.
'I'm not in the business of ignoring a big audience,' he said.
'My job every day is to reach out to the people of Australia and to reassure them we are a great country and a great people let down at the moment by a bad government.'
Jones, earlier on Tuesday, told his 2GB listeners he apologised 'without qualification or reservation' and had sought to apologise in person to Ms Gillard, who declined to take his call.
'The comment that I made was out of order, the comment was wrong, the comment had the capacity to hurt the prime minister as a daughter grieving over the death of her father, the comment should not have been made,' he said.
Jones said he was astounded at the 'hatred and anger' toward him on social media networks.
'I've got news for these people: I don't back off and I don't frighten easily.'
At least a dozen sponsors have cancelled or suspended advertising on Jones' program and three regional radio stations have said they will no longer run the show.
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd said the sponsors were right to withdraw.
'I think what this guy suffers from is absolute delusions of grandeur,' he told ABC Radio.
'And I think that's being cultivated by his intimate association with previous conservative leaders over a long period of time.'
Liberal frontbencher Sophie Mirabella accused Labor of trying to 'drain every last drop of political advantage' against Mr Abbott.
'The opposition leader has strictly limited his criticism of the prime minister to her public, policy and political record,' she said.
Shadow attorney-general George Brandis said Labor had overplayed its hand.
Mr Swan said Liberal MPs swinging behind Jones were 'giving his hateful views legitimacy'.