Wilmington, Delaware (CNN) - Delaware Republican senate candidate Christine O'Donnell says she's "matured" since her now well-known appearances on Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher back in the 1990's. But she acknowledged in an exclusive interview with CNN that the resurfaced clips have forced her to reinvent herself in the final weeks of the campaign.
"I haven't been embarrassed. And I'm not saying that I'm proud," O'Donnell said. "I've matured in my faith. I've matured in my policies. Today you have a forty something woman running for office. Not a 20 year old. So that's a big difference," she added.
Watch the full interview, after the jump:
O'Donnell is now running a TV ad in which she tells voters, "I am not a witch… I'm you." The spot is a response to the Politically Incorrect clip unearthed on Maher's current HBO program, Real Time, in which O'Donnell admits she once "dabbled in witchcraft."
"This campaign is about the future and not the past. This campaign is about what each candidate is going to do to address the needs of the people of Delaware," O'Donnell said.
After weeks of keeping a lower profile and fewer interviews with the national news media, O'Donnell has scheduled more public appearances in recent days. Today she took a handful of questions from reporters at a Delaware gun club where she picked up the endorsement of a local 2nd Amendment rights organization.
In a wide-ranging interview on a series of national issues, O'Donnell promised to vote to make the Bush tax cuts permanent. She dared the President to veto any bill that would repeal health care reform. "If Barack Obama vetoes that the year before his reelection he's setting himself up to be very vulnerable and I've seen many Hillary for President ads running," O'Donnell said.
Asked whether she believes human activity contributes to climate change, O'Donnell responded: "I don't have an opinion on that."
On the issue of teaching creationism in public schools, she declined to state her position. "It doesn't have anything to do with what I will do in Congress… My opinion on that is irrelevant," she said.
O'Donnell said she often gets 'you go girl' advice from former Alaska governor Sarah Palin. Is Palin is qualified to be President? "Is she running for President? Again, hypothetical," O'Donnell said.
She also declined to say whether she would support current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell or tea party favorite Jim DeMint for Majority Leader in a republican-controlled Senate.
At the gun show event, a French TV reporter asked O'Donnell "if she could wave her magic wand, what would she change in Washington?" It was an obvious reference to her "witchcraft" moment. O'Donnell took the question in stride, a sign she doesn't feel threatened by the controversy.
But she is not planning to go on Maher's program between now and Election Day. To O'Donnell her past statements to Maher are not at stake in this closely watched race.
"What I said or did on a comedy show, you know, over a decade ago is not relevant in this election," O'Donnell said.