September 19th, 2010
12:44 PM ET
4 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. Dave

    She's a lunatic. A lot of these evangelical types pretend to have taken part in "Satanic rituals" because they like people to believe such groups are running rampant in society, and if they claim to have taken part it gives creedence to their claims.

    I've got an old friend in a gospel group and he and the other singers in his group used to make up stories like that on their way to gigs, and would crack each other up with whoever could come up with the craziest story... and then they'd tell them between songs and the audience would believe them.

    O'Donnell's fans need to rent the movie _Marjoe_ and get an education about these scams...

    September 19, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    What is she? A witch or a satanist? Wica doesnt use 'satanic alters'. I think the woman is just as dumb as Palin.

    September 19, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  3. g

    middle class voting republican is like handing the keys to fox for the hen house

    September 19, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  4. Michael S

    I am more concerned about her views on sex and science than I am with any religion she "dabbled" in.

    September 19, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  5. Lea

    I guess some people will do anything to get in the spotlight. The last story stated she ha d a 'picnic on a satanic altar" Now madame did you dablke in witchcraft or satanism?

    People like you give other religions a bad name anyone who has read about or in Wicca knows you are an attention grabbing space cadet

    September 19, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  6. CathyH

    Can somebody tell both of those nutcases (Rove, O'Donnell) that WITCHCRAFT (Wicca) has NOTHING TO DO with SATANISM?

    – L.A., CA

    September 19, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. Ron

    Mr. Rove, the last time I heard, we are all allowed freedom of and from religion. You wish for us to embrace a religion whose zealots have no problem commiting mass geneocide and torturous atrocities, but dismiss any other religion that falls outside your norm.

    Sorry, the Salem witch trials have already been done.

    Move On!!

    September 19, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  8. Victor Loplame

    I think our problem is less related to O'Donnell and more related to the fact that the media is paying so much attention to her. Sex sells and she, like Palin are the goods. The profit motive in our new organizations isn't working for us as a nation – the numbers that tell the media what to cover are heavily influenced by the worst angels of our nature – titillation, scandal and pornography.

    September 19, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. Politics is the new Entertainment

    I find it amazing that in the "greatest country on earth" that we have the stupidest people. So let me get this straight, a Tea Bagger group from California (like we know how to run a state) spends a chunk of money in Alaska, and buys the vote. Then, they do the same in Delaware, just spend money, and buy the election. So, people don't matter, only money. Then, these fools think these political virgins are going to march into DC and do anything different? Really? Seriously? Does anyone really think our "representatives" in the govt do what their constituents want, or do what their lobbyists want? Who puts money in their pocket? Who pays for their campaigns? Are we as a nation that STUPID? As the old white people in this country want to "take back their country" support these fools, follow wannabe Glen "cry me a river} Beck to "reclaim the civil rights movement"...wow....when did they ever lose it? When has this country ever not been about white people? When did white people ever have to fight for civil rights...now they need to reclaim it? The "greatest generation" ever really needs to just go away because they are destroying their legacy with their bigotry and ignorance of history.

    September 19, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  10. Tom

    Karl, I am beginning to think you are part of the "establishment". Think its time for you to go too.

    September 19, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  11. barry

    Who cares about her religious beliefs. Her opponent is a Marxist. It's like picking the prettiest leper between the two. She certainly is the prettiest and she won't vote the Socialist-Marxist agenda like her opponent will. She for sure don't believe in higher taxes. These so called lilly white politicians are just crooks anyway hers is at least out in the open so you know what you're getting. Compared to Rangel and Watters she looks like Mother Theresa anyway. She is just a average American that has done things in her youth she regrets. Everybody on this blog has done things in their youth they aren't proud of. The differennce is you don't have the News people digging dirt up on you. You can take the self righteous approach if you want to but you know.

    September 19, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  12. Magick74

    First off I am a witch. Second we prefer the term Wicca. Third Satan is a Christian concept so how can she have a date on a Satanic altar. Bottom line is she's just a moron...as were her friends...as is Rove...as are all politicians.

    September 19, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  13. Bassman

    The reason our media have attacked Nikki Haley, Sharon Angle, and Christine O'Donnell is so they can come back and say Sarah Palin's has little influence.

    September 19, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  14. LiveFreeor

    Karl Rove is a dinosaur and he does not realize it. He is the marketing leader of the old order of Republicans who preach Christian virtue but violate every ethical principle under the sun, while enriching themselves with unearned wealth. This country can no longer afford Karl Rove and his posse of hypocrital thieves but Rove does not realize this. He is a dinosaur.

    September 19, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  15. Oodoodanoo

    What's in this for Rove? I can't believe that he wants the Democrat to win. This must be a last-ditch attempt to pressure her to bow out so Castle or someone more electable can be put on the ballot.

    Rove never struck me as a lone gunman, either. Someone put him up to this. A few days ago he was back-pedalling from comments like these, but he's flipped again. Someone who would rather not get egg on their face is asking him to take the potshots.

    Sounds like the GOP is very worried about her upcoming disastrous performance.

    September 19, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  16. mtdHouston

    Carl, as for Murkowski, she could be the Republican Joe Lieberman. It is not over until the voters make the final vote. The Republican Apparatchik do not get to make all the calls.

    September 19, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  17. cometlinear

    This morning, her campaign told another batch of blatant lies about why she canceled her appearances today.

    This is the same woman who condemned lying in all its forms on that Politically Incorrect appearance.

    Does telling the truth even matter anymore??

    I'll bet she drops out of the race this week. The party chiefs have had their fill.

    September 19, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  18. Bev in NC

    Just another smear campaign by the elite liberal trash that infests DC

    September 19, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  19. zulu

    I never fail to chuckle at you people frothing at the mouth over the teabaggers. Sometimes I think its actually possible to smell your desperation through the internet. ;-)

    September 19, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  20. Jonquie Nelson

    Poeple are always looking for a reason to make someone else look bad. Someone taking out the time to dig up an 11 year old interview is proof of that. We all as americans have done something that can be considered " not the right thing" in our lives. That is no reason to ambush someone's dreams. I would like to meet one politican who hasnt attended a keg party or done a few stupid things in college. Its called youthful indrescretion and its normal. As amtter of fact its makes us more well rounded because we dont stay in 1 frame of mind. We grow up and our opinions change thats what makes us human and thats what makes us american!!

    September 19, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  21. New Yorker

    Be careful Karl, the witch Christine O’Donnell may turn you into a newt!! You Republicans already have one Newt in your party doing you damage, you don't need two.

    September 19, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  22. Chipster

    Uh, Karl, I think she explained it pretty well. She dabble in Witchcraft; what isn't clear about that? Republicans have become so partisan, so extreme, such a bunch of religious purists, that normal Americans don't recognize the GOP anymore. Every time we think they can't get more nutty, they prove us wrong!

    September 19, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  23. MR AMERICA

    You people are missing the point.

    It IS a big deal to conservatives. If she was a Dem, we would laugh at it off as youthful stupidity.

    But the conservatives? No way...they will want answers.

    September 19, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  24. The witch-hunt

    Bill Maher calls Christine O'Donnell my friend on one hand and is out to destroy her on the other hand. So what if; Christine O'Donnell appeared on the Bill Maker show and eternity ago when she was very young and of an age when will all say and do stupid things for attention: further more the clips Bill Maher is circulating of Christine is the person then and not who Christine O"Donnell is today.

    Shame Bill Maher calling yourself a friend when what you are really after a boost in you sagging ratings at Christine O'Donnell expence.

    Since when is mocking and debasing the American People a job.? This in Bills' own word: "i would not be doing my job............!

    September 19, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  25. jewell

    In my opinion i believe that Ms.O'Donnell has been a member of a secret satanic cult as well as other american politicians. I would rather be accused of being a muslum President, than to worship satan...I dont know if Ms.O'Donnell is a christian but if she is dabbling in satanism that doesnt fit well with christian voters. Its kinda scary to think what she could do if elected. The accusations against her are truth because they came out her mouth, not mine......

    September 19, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
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