Soledad O'Brien and former New Hampshire governor John Sununu got into a heated argument on Wednesday's "Starting Point" over whether President Obama called the attack on the American consulate in Libya an "act of terror."
The issue took the spotlight at the presidential debate on Tuesday, when Mitt Romney charged that it took the president days to label the attack an act of terror. Obama said that he called the incident "an act of terror" one day after the tragedy. In one of the most memorable moments of the night, moderator Candy Crowley fact-checked Romney and backed the president up.
Sununu, a Romney surrogate, was incensed over the line on Wednesday. He said that Obama had suggested that the attack was sparked by an anti-Islam film, instead of terrorism, in that same speech. O'Brien asked her crew to release the source material, including the transcript of Obama's comments, to viewers at home.
After she replayed the comments, Sununu claimed that CNN's clip left out the part where Obama "said" the attack was caused by a video. "This is ridiculous that you're trying to defend [Obama] on this!" he cried.
"Governor, I am trying to get a question in, if I may," O'Brien interjected. "If you look at the Rose Garden statement, you say earlier, it is not there. There is no videotape that he's talking about. People have argued that maybe he was talking 9/11... but if you look at the actual statement from the Rose Garden... he does say act of terror. What Candy corrected him on last night was that issue."
O'Brien's insistence only led Sununu to double down on his argument. After some more back-and-forth, he exclaimed, "This is ridiculous and if you're going to dwell on this, you're out of your mind!"
Later, Sununu had these parting words for O'Brien: "It's always good to come on the groupie channel." She responded with a tense smile.
"I always need a cocktail after I speak to him," O'Brien said a moment later. "I really need like a vodka and tonic after I talk to him."