Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell has joined the ranks of Republicans who take a hard line with reporters when things go wrong — in this case, a local radio station in Delaware says, her campaign threatened to sue them if they posted an interview online.
As WDEL reports/announces, O’Donnell appeared with talk radio host Rick Jensen, and took questions from Jensen and from callers, as well as listener-submitted questions that Jensen presented to her:
At the conclusion of the interview, a representative from the campaign who had been in the broadcast studio with O’Donnell asked that the video be turned over to the campaign and not released. He stated that the videotaping had not been approved by the O’Donnell campaign.
O’Donnell also told show host Rick Jensen that she would sue the radio station if the video was released.
WDEL routinely posts audio and video podcasts of interview segments on WDEL.com. O’Donnell’s appearance on WDEL in September had also been recorded and posted on the web.
In addition, the station says, O’Donnell’s campaign manager Matt Moran called and threatened to “crush” the station with a lawsuit. An attorney for O’Donnell’s campaign then contacted the station’s lawyers to ask that the video not be released. As the station says in its article: “After seeing the video the attorney for the O’Donnell campaign contacted WDEL’s counsel again to apologize for charges made by their campaign manager. The attorney agreed that there was no legal issue with the video and expressed regret for the incident.”
To watch the interview, click here. The fireworks begin a bit more than halfway through, when Jensen discussed O’Donnell attacks on Democratic nominee Chris Coons’s record as New Castle County Executive. Jensen pointed out the pluses of Coons’s leadership — the tax increases were fairly small in the face of a massive revenue shortfall after the subprime collapse, and he negotiated tough deals with the public employee unions — and asked O’Donnell what tax and spending decisions she would have done differently.
O’Donnell became unable to give specifics at a certain point, and the subject became only more heated as callers continued asking, as well. O’Donnell repeatedly insisted that she was running for Senate, not for county council, while Jensen countered that she was criticizing Coons on the basis of his county performance.
The TPM Poll Average gives Coons a lead of 55.5%-37.2%.
(Via Christina Bellantoni at CQ.)
Late Update: WDEL has announced that the O’Donnell campaign has apologized to them. O’Donnell press secretary Doug Satchel has also stated clearly, “There is no threat to sue DEL.” He did not claim to comment or speak on behalf of campaign manager Matt Moran, who had reportedly made the threat to “crush” the station with lawsuits.