Speaking with The Conversation's politics podcast, McCormack said in hindsight, it would have been better to have told Nationals who'd been agitating for the code that negotiations were underway.
Deputy PM Michael McCormack on the drought and restive Nationals.
The Conversation, CC BY33.7 MB (download)
Following tensions in the Nationals party room over the bring-forward of the dairy code for Pauline Hanson, the Deputy PM admits that the party leadership mishandled the situation.
Following similar comments by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, a senator has called for the ABC to sell its Ultimo headquarters and move to the suburbs and regional centres.
One of the Nationals' key KPIs for McCormack has been that he must successfully pressure Morrison for the government to underwrite coal-fired generation.
The former prime minister has changed his mind yet again on the Paris targets, this time because he is under pressure in his seat of Warringah.
McCormack must live in a parallel universe if he ever thought Broad's account of flying off on an overseas date, followed by an apparent move to extract money from him, was just "a personal matter".
There's a fine line between being out and about and canvassing. Just being visible is all that's needed at this stage of a bid. And Joyce doesn't hide his ambitions for a return.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has suggested changing the rules to allow 'environmental' water to be diverted to drought-hit farms. But the idea would be far less straightforward in practice.
Up to now, both government and opposition were anxious to stay in step.
From Morrison's point of view, McCormack's imagery was totally out of whack with his desired framing. Even within the Nationals there is some criticism of the leader for being inept.
Michelle Grattan speaks with Deep Saini about the week in Australian politics.
Michael McCormack has rewarded supporters but has been cautious in making changes.
Barnaby Joyce had a long history of opposing climate action. His successor Michael McCormack seems to think the same way, despite climate being a growing threat to the Nationals' rural voters.
How Barnaby Joyce plays things in the next few months will be relevant to Michael McCormack's ability to run a united team.
As the National Party looks to rebuild under a new leader, it needs to embrace its minority status, establish clearly what it stands for, and remain true to those ideals.
Michael McCormack's challenges include uniting his party behind him, making himself widely known among rural and regional voters, and forging a strong relationship with Malcolm Turnbull.
Demoralised Nationals will meet on Monday morning to replace Barnaby Joyce.
Barnaby Joyce, the larger-than-life politician, has always been a distinctive brand. But then his personal flaws and indulgences cost him all he'd worked and schemed for.
Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce is under intense new pressure.
Sources in the Barnaby Joyce camp say there is no way he will step down before Monday's party meeting.