'It happens,' Ambrose says of MacKay's staff shutting down interview
OTTAWA -- After Conservative leadership hopeful Peter MacKay's staff abruptly ended an interview with CTV News on Monday following a question about a tweet sent from his account, former Conservative interim leader Rona Ambrose said "it happens," adding that staff "have a job to do, too."
Ambrose made the comments during an interview with CTV Power Play Host Evan Solomon that aired Tuesday.
CTV National News' Heather Wright sat down with MacKay on Monday in an exclusive interview, where questions eventually turned to the leadership race. MacKay had recently come under fire for a tweet his account sent out on Saturday, which slammed Trudeau for using $876.95 in Liberal party donations for yoga sessions and other related expenses.
"That was something that happened that I'm not proud of," MacKay said of the tweet. "I don't have the opportunity always to vet every single thing that goes on that social media account and so we are going to do better."
Immediately after the response, his staff shut down the interview.
"I think we're done," a staffer said. "You just went way over. I'm sorry," another one added.
"She's just doing her job, she's a journalist,” MacKay said.
The interview did not continue.
When asked about the awkward exchange, Ambrose warned not to "overblow" this sort of thing, adding that it's to be expected that such issues could happen during political campaigns – like the leadership.
"These things happen, especially on political campaigns where people sometimes don't even have experience, they're young, it's a really heated environment, they're trying to protect their candidate. You're going to see things like this happen," Ambrose said.
When asked if she would have cut off the interviewer, the former interim Conservative leader did not rule it out.
"They have a job to do too, and sometimes there's cross-talk. It happens," Ambrose said.
AMBROSE AT PEACE WITH DECISION NOT TO SEEK TORY LEADERSHIP
Ambrose's Tuesday appearance on CTV Power Play was one of her first interviews since the former interim leader announced her decision not to run for the Conservative leadership. When Solomon asked if she is at peace with the decision, Ambrose said "completely."
Ambrose decided not to run despite multiple high-profile Conservatives encouraging her to do so, including Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, former Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall and New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs.
She told Solomon that people still ask her to reconsider.
"It's an incredible gesture and it means a lot to me and I miss the people here, but I really do like my life," Ambrose said.
When it comes to reconsidering, Ambrose joked that she had an answer: "hashtag no."