Joe Hockey has said if he did not retire from the Parliament he would have been focused on "getting even with people" who contributed to his downfall as treasurer.
In an interview with businessman Mark Bouris – best known as the founder of Wizard Home Loans and host of The Celebrity Apprentice – Mr Hockey said leaving politics ensured he did not reflect too much on the leadership spill that ended Tony Abbott's prime ministership.
"I've just turned 50, so, you've always got to look at the next challenge and I think that's part of it," he says in the interview on The Mark Bouris Show.
"And that ensures that if you look forward you're not reflecting too much on what happened."
The interview, recorded in the back corner of the crowded Latteria coffee shop in Sydney's trendy Darlinghurst, appears to be Mr Hockey's first since leaving Parliament in October.
Its publication comes ahead of an expected announcement on Tuesday formally confirming Mr Hockey's appointment as Australia's next ambassador to the United States.
In his interview with Mr Bouris, which was published on Sunday, Mr Hockey said: "I did, I still have three or four years of desire to contribute to the country in one form or another."
"It's just the politics at the end of the day beat me," he said.
"If I was going to stay it'd be overwhelmingly about getting even with people that brought me down.
"I love my country and my family more than I hate my enemies."
Mr Bouris replied: "That's a big call."
"Well if it's all about you, you're in the business for the wrong reasons," Mr Hockey observed.
Mr Hockey made his final speech to Parliament on October 21.
Liberal Trent Zimmerman, a former staffer to Mr Hockey, won a byelection on Saturday to replace him in the seat of North Sydney.
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