The Cutline

Christine O’Donnell walks out of interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan over sex questions

Joe Pompeo
The Cutline

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(CNN)

To hear Christine O'Donnell tell it, her ill-fated chat last night with CNN's Piers Morgan was kind of like a Salt-N-Pepa song.

"I was not there to talk about sex--and he would not stop trying to talk about sex," the former Delaware tea party candidate told a Washington, D.C. Fox 5 affiliate of the headline-making interview--which culminated in her walking off the studio set. O'Donnell had agreed to appear in a pre-taped segment on his 9 p.m. show to promote her new book, "Troublemaker," which hits shelves Friday. "You know, I'm not a 20-year-old on MTV right now," she told Fox, "so let's get back to the political issues that I lay out in the book--and he wouldn't let up."

In fact, Morgan was pressing O'Donnell about her controversial views on abstinence and same-sex marriage--a reasonable line of questioning, the host argued, given that she discusses both hot-button issues in the book. But O'Donnell refused to engage.

You can watch a partial video of their awkward exchange below:

"Why are you being so weird about this?" Morgan asked O'Donnell.

"I'm not being weird about this, Piers," she replied. "I'm not running for office, I'm not promoting a legislative agenda, I'm promoting the policies that I lay out in the book, that are mostly fiscal, that are mostly constitutional. That's why I agreed to come on your show, that's what I wanna talk about. I'm not being weird, you're being a little rude."

"I think I'm being rather charming and respectful," Morgan countered. "I'm just asking you questions based on your own public statements, and now what you've written in your own book."

O'Donnell wasn't having it. She was waved off set by a handler while someone stood in front of the camera to block the shot: "I was supposed to be speaking at the Republican Women's Club at six o'clock and I chose to be a little late for that, not to endure rude talk show hosts, but to talk to you about my book."

But by the time O'Donnell got to her next promotional stop, the Morgan episode had already preceded her. When she turned up belatedly at the Women's National Republican Club, she was accosted by a reporter from the New York Observer curious about why she had stormed out of the CNN studios.

"We were late for this, and he wasn't ending, and we were going, 'Wrap up, wrap up!' He was late and he wasn't ending," she explained. "He's looking for ratings. He's looking for ratings. He was being rude, and I said, 'Piers, I gotta go!' You know, I'm late already! He's looking for ratings, and trying to stir up a controversy."

Morgan sees things differently.

"It was a bit extraordinary actually," he told fellow CNN anchor Anderson Cooper Wednesday night. "Because I thought I was being my normal chivalrous self. And then she suddenly took huge umbrage, declared I was being rude and walked out."

"It's interesting how politicians these days ... feel like they should only be asked about what they want to talk about," Cooper added.

Morgan invited O'Donnell back on his show to try and set the record straight, but it doesn't look like she'll be gracing CNN with her presence anytime soon.

"Piers, thanks for the invite," she told Morgan, who is British, on Twitter. "Schedule is already packed, maybe another night. No hard feelings, you cheeky bugger."

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