Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott Sharyn O'Neill

Tony Abbott: Trump's policies "reasonable enough"

DONALD Trump does not have many fans right now, as his tilt for the US Presidency continues to deteriorate, but former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has come to the embattled Republican's defence.

Mr Abbott has described Mr Trump's policies as "reasonable enough" and described his supporters as people who simply want change in America.

His defence of Mr Trump comes as his Democrat opponent Hillary Clinton opens up a sizable lead as the property magnate continues to be beset by disgust after tapes showed him boasting that he can kiss, touch or "grab women by the p----y" because of his fame.

Donald Trump on the campaign trail.
Donald Trump on the campaign trail.

Mr Abbott said the comments - described by Mr Trump as "locker room talk" - were disgusting, but that was not enough of a reason to tar his supporters.

"The tapes that have been playing over the last few days are gross, gross beyond belief and I think they are completely indefensible," Mr Abbott told Sky News.

"The point that I want to make is that the vast majority of Trump supporters are not deplorables, they really aren't.

"They are decent people who want to see change inside their country and that's fair enough."

Earlier this year, Ms Clinton described Mr Trump's supporters as a "basket of deplorables" who were "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic". She later apologised for the comments.

Mr Abbott's defence of Mr Trump fits with the former Prime Minister's pattern of making public statements that appeal to the Liberal Party's right-leaning supporters.

Mr Abbott is campaigning for party reform that would give NSW party members more power to choose who stands for parliament, a move that would give conservative members more clout in the party.