September 14th, 2010
08:02 AM ET
4 years ago

Bill Kristol on Christine O'Donnell: No Sarah Palin

Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell is taking fire from leading Republicans.
Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell is taking fire from leading Republicans.

(CNN) - Guess who's getting slimed now in the increasingly nasty Senate race in Delaware: Republican stalwarts Bill Kristol and Fred Barnes.

The charge: both men, editors of the conservative magazine the Weekly Standard, are trying to undermine Delaware Republican Senate candidate and tea party darling Christine O'Donnell, or so her campaign manager says.

"Call Bill Kristol and ask him why he's crossing swords with Governor Palin's endorsement. And Google Fred Barnes and see about him taking money from Republican leadership," a frustrated O'Donnell campaign manager Matt Moran told CNN.

O'Donnell just won the endorsement of Sarah Palin.

The Weekly Standard folks sound unfazed. In a reply to an e-mail from CNN, Bill Kristol offers this: "I know Sarah Palin. I respect Sarah Palin. And with all due respect- Christine O'Donnell is no Sarah Palin."

What's this all about?

Christine O'Donnell, running as a Washington outsider, insists the Republican establishment is trying to drive her out of the race and hand victory to Mike Castle, a nine-term Republican congressman whom she refers to as "the anointed one."

In an interview with CNN, O'Donnell bemoaned what she called "Republican cannibalism" and alleges GOP operatives are spreading "false accusations" about her as they "are fighting for not only my opponent's political career but their own political career." Sarah Palin is echoing that message, saying in a new robocall for O'Donnell, "I can relate to the vicious personal attacks on Christine and can tell you it's sad to see the establishment's desperation in this."

Barnes and Kristol got drawn into this catfight because of a story in the Weekly Standard. On Sunday writer John McCormack reported that back in 2005 O'Donnell filed a lawsuit asking for $6.9 million dollars in damages for alleged gender discrimination and wrongful termination by a non profit called the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. In addition to sharing some eyebrow raising details about the alleged harassment, the article questions a claim in the lawsuit that O'Donnell was trying to "take master's degree classes at Princeton". According to the Weekly Standard, the lawsuit states: "Miss O'Donnell has lost the increased earning power that a Master's degree from Princeton would have created. In the future with proper finances, Miss O'Donnell should probably be able to return and complete that program…"

The problem? O'Donnell never took even a single graduate course at Princeton university, something she acknowledges to CNN.

The Weekly Standard article calls this "the latest of many false statements" and question O'Donnell's "honesty and stability."

When CNN asked O'Donnell why the discrepancy about pursuing a masters degree at Princeton she told CNN, "I never claimed that. And it is again, this is one of these false accusations that they are trying to throw out there at the last minute. I was taking an undergraduate course at Princeton University and that has nothing to do with this campaign." She tells CNN this leak is a sign her opponent "is despearate" and "drowning."

Her campaign manager Matt Moran tells CNN she audited an undergraduate course at Princeton and says, "None of this is relevant as far as I'm concerned. We're up against the full weight of the NRSC (the National Republican Senatorial Committee) and the Castle campaign and their media surrogates who have done nothing but try to character assassinate Christine."

In the interview with CNN, O'Donnell repeatedly invoked Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton as inspirations. So we asked whether she believes she's being criticized because she's a woman, O'Donnell says: "Well whenever a strong pioneering woman comes onto the scene theres some backlash."

When contacted for comment the author of the Weekly Standard article, John McCormack tells CNN, "I hope readers will read my report and judge for themselves if its fair" adding, "More than two days after I first asked her campaign for comment to explain this apparent falsehood, it has not done so – probably because it can't."


Filed under: Christine O'Donnell • Delaware
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Angus McDugan

    Putting down and belittling women has always worked in the past (see what Obama and the democrats did to Hillary). I don't understand why we allow this type of discrimination. Why is it "OK" to insult women and insinuate that they are stupid?

    I guess if women's organizations don't have enough political clout then it is OK to be misogynist.

    September 14, 2010 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  2. A keen observer

    Isn't it fun watching republicans fight?

    September 14, 2010 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  3. 8 Years of having a drunken driver at the wheel put America in the ditch, why would working Americans return the keys to the crowd drinking at the same bar?

    Looks as thought trainer has lost control of the beast in this 3 ring circus formally known as the Republican party

    September 14, 2010 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  4. A. Goodwin

    This woman is as fabricated as they come. Can Delware do any better than this liar and cheat?

    September 14, 2010 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  5. Steve in CT

    At issue here is the endorsment of Palin and the Tea Party movement and it's for the same reason the Boston Tea Party happened nearly 237 years ago in 1773. The reason it happened then was the colonists were paying taxes mandated by politicians who represented others but not them. Today we pay taxes mandated by our politicians who, rather than representing us as designed are representing their party. We have little backing in Washington. Two years after the original tea party the colonists revolted which ended in the creation of a new country. That's why today's Tea Party endorses candidates who'll represent us rather than the party. The same for Palin's endorsments. Like the Tea Party or not we need to welcome their purpose. Like Palin or not she's one of a very few out there today representing us. This is how we should take our country back before it turns into what happened in 1775. That's how America began and it just may be how she ends without those representing us.

    September 14, 2010 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  6. John

    I wouldn't vote for anyone that Saran Palin endorsement,because they are just as dumb as she is.

    September 14, 2010 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  7. thecheef

    The Statist is very worried threse days

    September 14, 2010 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  8. Norm

    Because Palin is a plague wherever she goes.
    Even the dim witted republicans know her endorsement is the kiss of death in most states. Havent these fools learned anything from McCain's failure?

    September 14, 2010 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  9. sharon

    Where do they keep finding these nut jobs???? Look what John McCain unleashed to this country – Sarah Palin and now all these Tea Party nut jobs keep crawling out from under the rocks. To top it all the Queen of idiots – Michele Bachman came out in support of this loonie but did not even know what she was running for – she wished her well on her Governor's race. Heaven help us if any of these win. I guess they are all laying the ground for 2012 and the ticket of Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. and the world as we knew it will never be the same!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 14, 2010 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  10. sara

    Can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Honey, you're NO Hilliary Clinton. You are an opportunist, just like your "mentor". Sick folks in our government? Now this is Sca....ryyyy.

    September 14, 2010 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  11. BlackUSAguy

    It doesn't matter any way. The GOP will adopt her.

    September 14, 2010 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  12. Rob Johnson

    Problems wiht her honesty and stability? No relevant experience? Can't stand the heat of politics? Has a massive victim complex?

    I don't know, sounds just like Palin to me.

    September 14, 2010 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  13. Doc

    So she claims in a lawsuit (which is a matter of public record) that she was trying to take masters degree classes and lost income that a masters degree would bring because of the harassment/gender discrimination and wrongful termination.

    1. I thought Republicans and good conservatives were against this kind of lawsuit for inflated compensatory penalties.
    2. How can you sue someone for losses for a degree which you haven't actually earned (and apparently haven't even taken a class for).
    3. Now she denies she did this.
    4. Apparently Sarah Palin now gets to pick who the Republican nominee will be regardless of what the rest of the party thinks?

    Now I know why the GOP emblem is an elephant. This is pretty much a circus and I can see the clowns from my kitchen window!

    September 14, 2010 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  14. Jared from Delaware

    It is so important that this dumb woman LOSE to Mike Castle today...

    Otherwise, Coons is our next Senator.

    September 14, 2010 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  15. WIL in the VA.

    The republican party are eating their own to get to the top and for what ever reason cnn and other real news outlets are affraid to make this the story WHY.

    September 14, 2010 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  16. katiec

    I don't know that much about O'Donnell but the fact that Palin and the tea party back her is enough proof she should not be elected.

    September 14, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  17. Marie MD

    The lying quitter half term governor sure knows how to pick them. They are all liars. What a bunch of losers.

    September 14, 2010 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  18. kengie

    Please remember.."Strength in numbers to counter the crazies" ~ DNC

    September 14, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  19. America Shrugged

    Who ever said politics were civil? If you can't take the heat, stay outta politics.

    September 14, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  20. sonny chapman

    Yeah, but ain't she a cutie.

    September 14, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |