Seamus O'Regan says he regrets walking off camera during an interview last week with NTV News, leaving the impression he was not prepared to answer questions about labour relations in the country.
But the Liberal candidate for St. John's South-Mount Pearl says he makes no apologies for wanting to give the best possible answer to questions, and admitted he still has plenty to learn.
"Nobody ever said that moving from that side of the mic to this side of the mic for me was going to be easy," said O'Regan, who co-hosted CTV's flagship morning program Canada AM for a decade.
"It's not and I have a lot to learn. I'm learning it every day," O'Regan told CBC News during an interview Monday.
O'Regan has been touted as a star candidate for the Liberals, and he is a close friend of Leader Justin Trudeau.
'Just Not Ready': Conservative ad
But his performance during a news item on NTV News last week served as fodder for the governing Conservatives, with the partly quickly lifting the video for a new ad that mocks the Liberals.
The Conservative narrative is that Trudeau lacks the experience to be prime minister. O'Regan's interview was quickly turned into another in a series of "Just Not Ready" ads against the Liberals.
O'Regan admitted it wasn't one of his best performances, but doesn't believe it will hurt him or the party.
He said it has been brought up as he has gone door-to-door in recent days.
"What people say to me is, usually, 'that was a hard one there.' All you can do is laugh and say, 'Yeah, it is,' but you get up and you go on another day. They treat it with a certain degree of humour," he said.
The interview came during what was supposed to be a big political victory for O'Regan.
He was being endorsed by the Labourers' International Union of North America (LiUNA), the largest construction union in the country.
The endorsement was considered significant because of the labour movement's longstanding association with the New Democrats, and the fact that the incumbent MP for St. John's South-Mount Pearl, Ryan Cleary, is a New Democrat. The LiUNA, however, has endorsed the Liberals before, including in the 2011 federal election.
'Where did I put my speech?'
The union was holding a national convention in St. John's, and O'Regan was asked to speak to delegates on June 9.
During a pre-speech interview with NTV, O'Regan said the federal Liberals would "get rid of" legislation that "discriminate against unions."
But when asked to name specific legislation, O'Regan started looking around, saying "I'll get them for you right now," and asked rhetorically, "where did I put my speech?" as he walked out of the camera's view.
Asked a second time for some specifics about what legislation the Liberals would repeal, O'Regan again paused and said, "I'll get the details for you."
O'Regan was also vague on specifics about how the Liberals would support unionized workers, saying "our heart is in the right place."
Wanted to be prepared
O'Regan said he got a sense from the line of questioning from reporter Katie Breen that he may have to address "specific sections" of the legislation, and he wanted to be prepared.
"I did something which, I think people who watched Canada AM for 10 years have seen me do time and again, I went to get the best information that I could because not every single detail of those pieces of legislation I knew. So I was going to find that information," he said.
"I guess I made a mistake in walking off camera. I should always realize the camera is always on."
O'Regan said he understands that expectations of politicians are very high, but he asked for a little patience from voters.
"Every day I'm working at it," he said.
As for Cleary, he told CBC News on Monday that he "felt bad" for O'Regan, and did not want to engage in any negativity.