September 19th, 2010
12:44 PM ET
8 years ago

Rove: O'Donnell must explain witchcraft comments

 Rove says O'Donnell needs to explain her witchcraft comments.

Rove says O'Donnell needs to explain her witchcraft comments.

(CNN) – Karl Rove – the top GOP strategist who declared last week that Christine O’Donnell’s surprise victory does “little good” for the party – is now calling on the surprise Senate nominee to explain her comments about witchcraft.

"In southern Delaware where there are a lot of churchgoing people, they're going to want to know what that is all about,” the former aide to President George W. Bush told "Fox News Sunday."

“My view is she can’t simply ignore it,” he said. “She’s got to deal with it and explain it and put it in its most sympathetic light and move on.”

O’Donnell uttered the comments in question during a 1999 appearance on the now-canceled show “Politically Incorrect,” saying then, “I dabbled into witchcraft – I never joined a coven. But I did, I did. ... I dabbled into witchcraft.”

The 11-year-old interview was dug up Friday by liberal comedian Bill Maher – the former host of Politically Incorrect. During the 1999 appearance, O’Donnell also described one of her first dates – with a witch “on a satanic altar.”

A spokesman for the O’Donnell campaign did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

“She can’t simply say, ‘Oh these are unfactual, and not true,' and just ignore them,” Rove also said. “I don’t think the people of Delaware have or are accepting that as a reasonable explanation.

Citing exhaustion and scheduling conflicts, O’Donnell canceled her plans over the weekend to appear on both "Fox News Sunday" and CBS’ "Face the Nation" – a move Rove called a “smart decision.”

“She shouldn’t have accepted in the first place,” he said. “It’s Delaware voters, not conservatives across the country who will determine the outcome of this election … and there is, as I say, resistance.”

Turning to Alaska – where Sen. Lisa Murkowski launched a write-in bid after losing to a Tea Party-backed candidate last month – Rove declared the senator can’t win.

"She's going to lose," he said, adding, "[Joe Miller] won it fair and square, and Murkowski should not pursue this very, very sad line she is pursuing."

- CNN's Mariano Castillo contributed to this report

Filed under: Christine O'Donnell • Karl Rove
soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. Spoiler

    She is a spoiler that will give Dems extra sit in the senate. Bravo on all those red targets!

    September 19, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  2. AK_steve

    The tea party is a monster the GOP created themselves. They courted these right wingers for years. Then they went and put a head on this creature – Sarah Palin. But then the monster started to think/act/feel on its own, no longer under control of the GOP.

    The GOP screwed up when the put the head of Palin on this monster. You'd think they would have picked someone with a brain?

    September 19, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  3. Samuel

    I say lock the two of them in one room and let 'em duke it out. Personally I don't care which of them wins because they're both an affrontery to democracy.

    September 19, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  4. LEB

    Personally, I'd like to hear more about this date on a satanic altar. Sounds interesting!

    September 19, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  5. Bassman

    Why isn't the media asking Chris Coons about his statement concerning marxism? We know why. Palin, Angle, Haley, and now O'Donnell are all being smeared.

    September 19, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  6. Tom in Texas

    Fiscal responsibilty? How? What is your plan, O'Donnell? Oh, that's right... you and the Tea Party have no plan. All of your comments just make good sound bits to fire up your base. Come back when you have plan to sell us. Until then, move along.

    September 19, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. ABM

    This race is comical. Very sorry state of affairs for the GOP considering how they portray themselves as:
    a) fiscally responsible = yet will not support ending the war or supporting taxes on those who CAN afford them – the rich. These additional taxes will help reduce the deficit
    b) followers of faith = anti-gay & anti-muslim. Will support wars instead of healthcare for all.
    c) voting for the people = ignoring the will of their constituents by following party agenda and obstructing EVERYTHING
    d) voting for the interests of this nation = ignoring the will of their constituents by following party agenda and obstructing EVERYTHING

    Now we have a witch in the race. How do you spin that! How can you defend calling Obama and the Dems Socialists (a false label btw).

    Face it – we have a diverse country. Now you HAVE to support President Obama and the Dems.

    [laughing my way to November – Thanks Bill Maher!]

    September 19, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  8. frag

    I saw the CNN headline "Group may be planning mass suicide" and I thought it was something about the GOP. Then I realized no, that's the other one, this mass suicide was being committed by Rove and O'Donnell.

    September 19, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  9. Phil

    Rove should be in one of his rendition prisons.

    September 19, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. Rickster

    she's got a LOT of explaining to do.

    September 19, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. kay

    She made those statements in 1999 and she was not a teenager.
    What a laugh fiscal responsibility.

    September 19, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  12. P.D.

    If this were a Democrat who said these comments, The Religious Right and the 'Tea Partiers' would be howling. This is hypocricy in the tallest order. Rove was right to mock her after her win. But Faux news and Limbaugh demanded he back-track. The fact is (I hate to say it) Rove was right all along.

    September 19, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  13. Chas


    She is a Sarah Palin wanna-be all becasue of the incompetent John McCain. He is responsible for the creation and surge of the Tea Party led by his "gotcha" poor choice of Palin. He unleashed a monster on this country and sooner or later must accept that and apologize to the Republican Party and the American people.

    September 19, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  14. Dale callihan

    the dems should make her the poster child of the tea we want the tea party run our country think about it.there is no way that this lady is all there i feel sorry for her cus she needs help.

    September 19, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. Texas Progressive

    It's significant (and ironic) to note that this bimbo was describing Satanic rituals. Karl Rove should recommend the normal Republican first aid kit for these situations. Declare you've found Jesus, pretend to accept responsibility, and blame distortions by the liberal media. Sadly, that usually works with right-wingers.

    September 19, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  16. jules sand-perkins

    She should say it was a stunt she did for publicity before she became well known, and she didn't know that anybody remembered talk-show fluff.

    September 19, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  17. melane3

    I wish she would dabble in logic and objectivity. O'Donnell should give it a try. It would be more beneficial than her witchcraft phase.

    September 19, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. Simple Words

    The Republican Party has invited a rabid dog (the angry elements of the Tea Party) into its tent. Now are trying to learn how to pet it without getting savaged. It is not likely to happen.

    September 19, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  19. What a looooon!!

    “She’s got to deal with it and explain it and put it in its most sympathetic light and move on.”
    That's right. Do like the those good God-fearing televangelists do when they get caught doing the wrong thing...beg for sympathy while spewing some forced tears. "I was wrong. I have sinned, my Lord. Forgive me, Lord. I was weak. Oh, and I got caught."

    September 19, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  20. Emily

    I would like everyone to think back ten years and see if they said or did anything they might regret today. It's called MATURING. She seems to be a much different person today. give her a break

    September 19, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  21. Seattle Sue

    O'Donnell has no explanation other than the liberal media is out to slander her, this is why she cancelled the Sunday talk shows. And wasn't it just yesterday she spoke at the family values freak show? Pretty woman but no substance or credibility. Just another lying Tea Party member.

    September 19, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  22. rin

    well lets see if this comment makes it to the board!!!!!!

    Odonnell was 30 years old when she made those comments.... she was not young!!! She was a grown woman.... Bill Maher also has additional footage that he said he will release on every episode reminder.... there are unaired episodes from 1999 to 2002. She wasnt a little kid.. So she has some explaining to do

    September 19, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  23. brian in denver

    The woman is a nut-job, Palin clone, Tea Party darling & it's little wonder that the likes of Karl Rove are distressed that she & other conservative radicals are taking over his beloved Republican Party.

    September 19, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  24. Emily

    The Tea Party sure has done a great job. Just look at the comments on this page and see how many people have been rattled by them. Our country needed a shakeup if nothing else.

    September 19, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  25. lisa

    This woman can't control her own debt and spending, and has been chosen by her party as a candidate to control the country's.
    she's a thief, and nothing she says could surprise me.
    If she's elected to senate, she's probably going to end up in jail anyway.
    Anyone who really likes her will abstain from voting for her and save her from herself.

    September 19, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
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