Yes. By fighting back he blunted Campbell’s own attack plan.
Simon Bridges on Campbell Live talking about drilling plans in Kaikoura got the twitteratti going, and sentiment was that Bridges failed.
The sentiment was ideologically-based, not a strategic assessment of whether Bridges succeeded in his objective.
John Campbell would have intended to show that Bridges is allowing dangerous drilling practices by unreliable companies, against the wishes of local people. Campbell asked questions designed for answers that supported his narrative.
So Bridges’ objective would have been to stop the attack and get a physical draw. The benefit of a draw is the viewers will pick out from the interview material that fits their view on life. Bridges’ will hope that he got out one or two lines that will satisfy waverers.
There’s a couple of ways to get your own message across in these situations, and none of them involve simple answers to leading questions.
Bridges chose aggression, and he carried it off without any readily apparent anger (although his body language indicated great tension).
He could have chosen a calmer and relaxed way of doing a similar thing, but it might not be a natural approach for him.
It was disingenuous for Campbell to feign astonishment that Bridges would come on his show prepared with messages and a destructive approach.
If Campbell takes crusading approaches to issues, then he has to expect that others will refuse to walk into his attempts to make them the bad guys.