ABC News’ Michael S. James reports:
Whatever you do, stay on message when interviewing Christine O’Donnell.
The former Tea Party-backed Senate candidate from Delaware walked off a remote hookup with the CNN show “Piers Morgan Tonight,” declaring the host to be “rude” as he repeatedly asked for her positions on gay marriage and the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on gays in the military.
She said she only wanted to talk about her new book on Tea Party ideals, “Trouble Maker: Let’s Do What It Takes to Make America Great Again” — though earlier, before a commercial break, she played along as Morgan played clips on her well-known gaffes about once practicing witchcraft and then, in a campaign ad, denying she was a witch.
Pressed by Morgan on why she began to become “so weird” when the gay-related issues came up, O’Donnell said she chose not to answer because she was “not running for office.”
“I’m promoting the policies that I laid out in the book that are mostly fiscal, that are mostly constitutional,” she said. “That’s why I agreed to come on your show. That’s what I want to talk about. I’m not being weird. You’re being a little rude.”
“I’m baffled as to why you think I’m being rude,” Morgan said. “I think I’m being rather charming and respectful. I’m just asking you questions based on your own public statements and, now, what you’ve written in your own book. It’s hardly rude to ask you that, surely.”
Bad host, O’Donnell countered.
“Well, don’t you think as a host if I say, ‘This is what I want to talk about,’ that’s what we should address?” she asked.
“Uh, not really, no,” Morgan said. “You’re a politician.”
O’Donnell soon signaled to someone off camera, where a female voice could be heard saying, “It’s time to go,” and O’Donnell announced she was “being pulled away.”
Soon, a shadowy body stepped between O’Donnell and the remote studio’s camera, obstructing the view of O’Donnell.
“Are we off?” she soon asked, her earpiece apparently removed. “Are we done?”
“I’m still here,” Morgan said, as a male voice at O’Donnell’s location relayed Morgan’s message.
“Well …” O’Donnell answered, trailing off into a chuckle, as her remote shot concluded.
“It would appear that the interview has just been ended because I had the audacity to ask questions about the issues that are in this book,” Morgan said.
He later offered an on-air invitation for O’Donnell to return to his show and explain her decision to walk out of the interview.