O'Donnell accuses talk-show host of sexism
Tea party icon calls questioning 'creepy'
Christine O'Donnell abruptly ended her interview Wednesday.
News Journal Washington Bureau
Piers Morgan tweeted it was his first walk-out in 25 years.
ARLINGTON, Va. -- Former U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell accused CNN talk-show host Piers Morgan of sexism on Thursday and said his interview with her the previous night took a "decidedly creepy turn" when he asked about earlier statements she'd made about sex.
"Can you imagine if he was sitting there asking Bill Clinton, you know, 'Do you still hang around with interns? Still like cigars?' " she said during an interview, laughing. "It was inappropriate."
The tea party darling, whose book "Troublemaker" went on sale this week, abruptly ended her taped interview with Morgan, telling him he was "a little rude" when he asked about her views on same-sex marriage. But she said Thursday the question wasn't the problem.
During the interview, Morgan pressed her on whether her views on masturbation have evolved since she equated it with adultery on MTV's special "Sex in the '90s." At one point, he asked if she had "committed lust" in her heart "and therefore adultery."
O'Donnell said she wouldn't have been asked such questions if she were a man.
"It was just question after question after question about sex," she said during a tea party rally here. "Nothing to do with the book. And right as I'm like, 'I don't want to go down this line of questioning,' he throws the question of gay marriage in there. Really, at that point, you could have said what's your mother's name and I'm just in the mode of 'I don't want to go there, I don't want to go there' and then they made it, 'Oh, she doesn't want to address the question of gay marriage.'"
A spokeswoman for Morgan declined to respond to O'Donnell's comments and said Morgan was unavailable for an interview. He tweeted on Wednesday night that it was his "first ever walk-out in 25 years of interviews."
During the interview, Morgan said O'Donnell should be willing to answer questions about various topics in her book and asked why she was being "a little weird." She said she only agreed to talk about the fiscal and constitutional policies in her book.
"I can't believe she can think -- as not at all a front-line politician -- that she can dictate to CNN the terms of an interview," Morgan told Broadcasting & Cable magazine.
Asked on Thursday if she and CNN had an agreement on questions, O'Donnell said she was on CNN to talk about the book and that Morgan went off topic.
She told those at a tea party rally for candidates for the Virginia Legislature that she was late for a Republican women's event and was getting a "wrap-up" signal when she ended the interview. CNN says an O'Donnell handler tried to block the camera as she was ending the interview.
"I think that I was a good sport leading up to his inappropriate questions in the beginning but we had gone way over the agreed amount of time and he took a decidedly creepy turn," she told the group Thursday. "He wouldn't let up."
O'Donnell has had other confrontations with media.
Her Wednesday telephone interview on X96's "Radio From Hell" show ended abruptly when host Bill Allred suggested she didn't "trounce" former Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del., in the Senate primary, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. O'Donnell's spokesman said the call got cut short because of technical difficulties.
Last year, her campaign apologized to WDEL after demanding a video of her appearance on the "Rick Jensen" show be destroyed and threatening a lawsuit if it wasn't, WDEL reported. That interview got testy when Jensen pressed her about what she would have done differently from Chris Coons as New Castle County executive.
O'Donnell was on friendlier turf Thursday at the tea party rally, where about 50 people there celebrated her upcoming birthday with a cake.
A large man, wearing a "Special Operations Warrior Foundation" pin, stood behind her. Asked his job, he said he couldn't talk because he had to "pay attention" to O'Donnell. A host said the man provided security for O'Donnell but her spokesman said he was there for logistics.
Ron Wilcox, an organizer for the Northern Virginia Tea Party, said he hadn't seen O'Donnell on CNN but he heard that Morgan "crossed the line."
"I don't think people have to put up with abuse," he said.
Geraldine Davie, also a tea party member, said Morgan treated O'Donnell "unkindly" but that O'Donnell needs to "steel up."
"I think she needs to understand that politics is very confrontational and I think she needs to get better at confrontation," she said.
Please, please, please tell me this woman is NOT going to run for ANY office ever again!