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. Descarado

    Hopefully this loon will step down otherwise, Obama's boob tube booble-heads will feed on her every day, day-in-and-day-out, until Nov. 3 and jeopardize the country's chances for a recovery of it sanity and common sense.

    September 19, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  2. D. Bunker

    O'Donnell has a lot more to answer for than just this, like why someone so out of touch with the average American, and devoid of any legitimate policies ideas or plans, should be considered qualified to be a senator.

    September 19, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  3. jim in va

    Why can't the media focus on the real issues for the country? For instance, what about the national debt?What about the unemployment rate?What do you think of the recently passed healthcare legislation? Do you think stimulus helped our economy?What about social security and medicare?Why do we let a comedian define what to talk about during the campaign for Congress this Nov.?

    September 19, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  4. ar

    Who is this Rowe guy? Oh wait! He was the one who spent TAXPAYER millions on trying to impeach Clinton but failed!

    September 19, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  5. Mark Jeffery Koch

    O'Donnell did not pay her federal taxes, did not pay her mortgage, and lied about her college education. As shameful and disgraceful a candidate as she is what is more disgraceful is the fools who voted for her.

    Do we not have any standards left for those we want to represent us? Are we so devoid of morality that we rush to elect people who refuse to pay their federal taxes, mortgages, and lie about their college degrees?

    What kind of representative is that??? A liar and a law breaker. It's beyond the comprehension of most normal people why voters from the State of Delaware will vote for anyone as long as long as they are against the stimulus package and Obama's health care bill.

    Perhaps this supremely UNqualified woman should explain to the fifty million people without medical insurance why Obamacare is bad, and to the hundreds of thousands of auto workers who did not lose their job because of the bailout what her magic solutions would have been. If we went the way the Tea Party wanted we would be in a deep depression with thirty percent unemployment rate.

    I'd rather have huge deficits that can be made up in time than tens of millions of more people unemployed, homeless, and hungry, and destitute.

    September 19, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. Donald in CA

    O'Donnell is another right wing idiot, but she looks good and thats all that counts. I'm sure she will create jobs for this country by being a idiot. The world is watching this decline in american politics.

    September 19, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. Evil Hollywood Liberal

    just like Monty Python: "How do you know she's a witch?"

    So last week, he bashed her when she won, saying she was a lightweight. THen, 24 hours later, he closed ranks and supported her. NOw, he's back to criticizing her. ridiculous.

    I'll make this easy for everyone: Vote for the Democrat.

    September 19, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. Tori in Houston

    I couldn't care less about what she did when she was young. Who cares about "experience" with witchcraft? Her religion is irrelivent to me except in one way – if these crazzzies get into power, they will NOT follow the teachings of THEIR Lord who said over 2000 times in THEIR Bible to treat the least of our brothers as you would treat Him. Heck, if the religious whackos can't even follow this one simple instruction from of their own boss, how will they treat us? First on their already stated agenda – end all social safety nets for the least of our brothers. If this chick is so devoted to her God, why don't her words and actions reflect it?

    September 19, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. mark

    Whenever an extremist group such as the Tea Party grabs political power they will allow their religious ideaology to dictate policy an eventually you end up with radical misbehavior ie. Taliban. Thank goodness our founding fathers perceived this possibility establishing the separation of church and state

    September 19, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  10. Karen

    I feel like I am back in Salem in the year 1692. Are we seeing history revisited? "The conclusion that many scholars draw ...is that property disputes and congregational feuds played a major role in determining who lived, and who died, in 1692. " (The Witchcraft Trials in Salem: A Commentary by Douglas Linder)
    The witchhunts have begun again!

    September 19, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  11. Joel

    It's great to see a tool like Rove dissing another tool like O'Donnell. Maybe they can have a Republitard, right wing nut job mud wrestling hootenanny. The party of NO becomes the party of DOH!

    September 19, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  12. Annie, Atlanta

    Out of all the things this woman stands for (or against) Rove is worried about her "dabbling" in witchcraft? Seriously? People like her are destroying the Republican party. Witchcraft dabbling isn't the reason. Extremism is.

    September 19, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  13. Rove's a BUM

    Rove's hysteria over O'Donnell raises a lot of questions. Did she refuse him for a date? Does she remind him of an ex-girlfreind? He's clearly obsessed and doing everything he can to help bring on her defeat. That way he can say, "I told you so. See how smart I am."

    Rove gave flawed advice to George "W" (i.e. don't fight back), and now he's showing that he's incompetent and (always has been) out for himself.

    He's a pure, selfish egomaniac!

    September 19, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  14. FlyReelMan

    Rove at first gave her a thumbs-down on Fox until his masters jerked him around and then he gave her a thumbs-up. Now he is saying Whoa, Credibility problem Karl?

    How can any rational thinking person entrust the duties of a Senator to O’Donnell. She used campaign funds for personal rent, mortgage foreclosure, income tax problems, and all the weird lifestyle things. She would take these management skills to Washington and put Delaware in a hole. Think about it.

    September 19, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  15. Alice

    She doesn't need to explain anything, except to acknowledge that she is unfit for political office. Palin, Beck, Newt, etc are a joke, and now adding this moron into the mix, it's mind blowing. Please let their be at least one sane republican that can convince these media attention you know whats to step back. Quite frankly this is becoming scary!

    September 19, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  16. unretired05

    @ IEK She was born in Aug of 1969. She was a really old teenager in 1999.

    September 19, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. Retired Army in San Antonio

    She dabbled into witchcraft?

    Well.....that should've been obvious ;-) !

    September 19, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  18. Brian dodge

    "...citing exhaustion..."
    Yeah, right. I guess casting spells, dabbling, misdirecting campaign funds, Hiring your mom, and not paying your mortgage is hard work.

    September 19, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. Riley

    Rove is right. She should explain it and move on to win the election. She may not be the perfect candidate, BUT SHE IS FAR BETTER THAN THE "RUBBER-STAMP" DEMOCRAT IN THE RACE.

    September 19, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  20. modeldon

    Talking in tongues;witchcraft,talking to God (which one?).

    Calling all exorcists. Plenty of work.

    September 19, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  21. Bill Collins

    These accusations of dabbling witchcraft are completely untrue, given that they came from a very unreliable source. That source being Christine O'Donnell.

    September 19, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  22. LONG TALL TEXAN

    Well Rove what Party are you talking about. I didn't know she was running on the Republican ticket. You Idiots need to wise up the woman is not a witch nor is she obligated to either of the old worthless parties. The Tea Party is for the people. And if you people have'nt realized it yet there is a movement out here to rid America of both scandulous parties, Republicans and Democrats alike. We the people are taking America back. And when I say we the people I mean every living soul that is a citizen in the U.S. It is time for us to think for ourselves and quit believing in glib tongues doing the right thing for us. Both parties have strayed so far away from the Constitution it is ridiculous. Whats more there are admendments in the Constitution that does not apply to the modern world. It is time for a change. But, think very hard before you make as drastic a change as the last one made. This is not a racial viewpoint just a fact that the man is not capable of running a Country like the U.S.

    September 19, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  23. samuel

    going on a date on a satanic alter for sex?.... what have we become as a nation... voting people who have openly stated they have dabbled in witchcraft...? what type of whichcraft did she dabble in and wha did she do... these are questions that she must answer

    September 19, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  24. MikefromWV

    The GOP is being taken over by the tea bagger's, much to the delight of the dems. The GOP is making a huge mistake by embracing them. I believe that the dems will retain their majority in the Senate - and there is a good possibility that they will also retain the House - and the republican party will have no one to blame but themselves.

    September 19, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  25. donna

    Karl better be careful or she'll turn him into a newt.

    September 19, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
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