"Take your best shot," she angrily declared.
The Opposition leader immediately moved a vote of no confidence, which would trigger an immediate election.
Abbott delivered his best shot.
"For your party's good, you should go," he told her.
"For our countries good, you should go. You should go."
The no confidence motion never came to a vote because the government called for its suspension and narrowly won.
Government ministers are now on the media talk circuit. One after another, cabinet ministers are declaring "it is over."
But on a bizarre day when very little is known about the motives or logic of any of the players, it is clear the Gillard government's troubles are far from over. Few believe the divisions with her party have been healed simply because Rudd did not garner the support he needed to challenge her.
"The message that the people of Australia have received from this government is that nothing is resolved, the civil war goes on," said Abbott, calling for an immediate election.
"The civil war will continue as long as Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard are in the Parliament."
All eyes now are on the independents that keep the government propped up. Three of five voted to debate the no confidence motion.