October 7th, 2010
07:00 PM ET
4 years ago

O'Donnell on the Maher tapes: 'I'm not saying that I'm prou...'

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.


Filed under: 2010 • Christine O'Donnell • Delaware • The Situation Room
soundoff (209 Responses)
  1. La Piovra

    Now, this lady's assertion that everyone is out to assassinate her character reminds me of a recipe for unicorn stew. First, find a unicorn...

    October 7, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  2. Pollwatcher

    Wow, she's actually a step above failin' Palin for facing someone from the press who isn't from the Republican's News Network (Fox). Good for her, although she's still going to lose (thank God).

    October 7, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  3. Marie MD

    No you haven't!! While not old a forty one year oldl woman who sounded like a child and still does is NOT mature.
    Sorry, but the fact that your mentor from AK has not stepped up to help you out tells you everything. Even her husband wouldn't touch you with his wife's ten foot pole or an angry e-mail right now.
    You have been lying and stealing from donors in the last few years. When are you thinking of maturing or better yet, when are you going to stop stealing?

    October 7, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  4. vic nashville tn

    She would have done 2 weeks back too little too late

    Mama Grizzly and Sean Hannity will be mad now

    October 7, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  5. ATL Guy

    Those Mama Grizzlies sound like they've all come down with rabies. What's up with those folks? Are there no sensible women in the Republican Party?

    October 7, 2010 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. Birdwatcher1

    Oh my gawd, this woman is pathetic. Being 41 doesn't make you a 40-something (really) – trying to sound older and more mature. What about all the lies about your education and your finances? What a joke. Do not presume to speak for me, you are not who I am. I absolutely would have voted for the Obama health care bill, and thank God it passed. I would have voted for the bail out – as sad as it was, it was needed to save the economy. Go back to college and take Economics 101 – and take the Tea Bagger from Alaska with you. She could use some formal education as well.

    October 7, 2010 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  7. LacrosseMom(real one)

    Isn't it interesting that the GOP-Koch-TeaParty folks, are complaining about the "unfair" treatment of O'Donnell, when each and everyday for the past 21 months and even before, Conservatives on Faux News, AMHate Radio etc., have been hating, demonizing, slandering the President of the United States?! Even saying vile and disgusting things about Mrs. Obama?

    GOP-Koch-Tea-Partiers you can't have it both ways!

    PS. Last week the Republicans voted against a bill that will penalize U.S. Companies who ship U.S. JOBS overseas! When you wonder where are American JOBS, ask a Republican!

    October 7, 2010 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "Are there no sensible women in the Republican Party?"

    I'm not even sure there are any that are sensate.

    October 7, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  9. King

    Odonald just dont have what it takes to be a united states senator. Although none of the repugs do.

    October 7, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  10. La Piovra

    No, ATL, the sensible ones done left.

    October 7, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  11. PalmReader

    The citizens of Delaware will decide how mature they think Christine is. Beyond that, I am totally thankful I am not she, and am equally sure she is not me.

    October 7, 2010 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  12. Shannon

    Is she saying she's an embarrassment to the country, is she saying she's taking medication now.....is she saying that she doesn't stand by any of her past comments. Does she still believe she has "secret clearance" does she still believe in the little mice with human brains. What's up Christine!

    October 7, 2010 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  13. Patrick

    Come on, let's be fair and drop the sexism. There are no sensible people in the Guardians Of Privelege - male OR female.

    October 7, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    There is a fine line between Republican and Stupid. She falls on the latter.

    October 7, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  15. Rich

    Amazing. Only a few months ago the Tea Party candidates were all the rage and now they are beginning to self-destruct. Is the conservative future all about irascible, financially self-serving candidates with problematic backgrounds who can't finish their obligations to the people they serve before jumping on the next big thing? The Democrats had Edwards and Obama, the Republicans had Palin and McCain in the last election to show as "the future". I want sensible leadership and I can't find it anywhere in the Republican party and it's scarce among the Democrats. We're going to need strong people that don't quit or fall for greed to face the huge fraud done to the people by the bankers in the last 10 years. I don't see it anywhere.

    October 7, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  16. Ben

    Does being 40-something change your opinion that the theory of evolution–supported overwhelmingly by the scientific community and accepted in every other nation on the planet–is wrong, and creationism should be taught in schools?

    October 7, 2010 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  17. Stephen

    So in the Tealiban world you're not an adult until 40 and nothing you said before running for office is relevant...

    October 7, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  18. Katie

    I should HOPE she's matured. Now, what does she have to say about her inability to pay her own way? Or is that irrelevant too?

    October 7, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  19. BD70

    Matured? Probably..but what Delaware wants? I hope not.

    October 7, 2010 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  20. rdepontb

    I'm sorry, Ms O'Donnell, but you have NOT convinced anyone with your "new maturity," which, according to you, was gained in the past 20 years. We still have you ON TAPE from 2006 to the present-is five years recent enough to reflect your real values and policies?-and you're still saying outlandish things to get noticed. Your most recent polish has come thanks to the Republican team-teach-and-groom program, period. These are not your views, your positions-so far you either have no sane views of your own or you have views of someone that someone dictated to you.
    Please, do not talk us like we're a bunch of foolish, immature children.

    October 7, 2010 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  21. DJHood32

    If this moron ever gets elected to ANY significant position in our government, the citizens of the United States of America have completely failed our country!

    October 7, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  22. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    Christine has policies? That's news to me. I thought all she did was mimic Sarah Palin and act like a ding-bat.

    October 7, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  23. V Saxena

    It's all good. I used to tuck myself in bed by 3am because I was afraid I would be abducted otherwise. And I even used to smoke something called a primo. Look, we all change. HOWEVER, I'm still never going to vote for you because your political views SUCK!

    October 7, 2010 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  24. Justin

    Why does something someone said 20 years ago matter so much? Let s/he who wants to be accountable for something they said two decades ago throw the first stone. I'm not defending O'Donnell. I'm just sick of the media and others making a big deal out of nothing. If this is the only bad thing that can be said about her, she me by the most electable candidate in the history of this nation.

    October 7, 2010 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  25. Jim Butler

    On the TV during the interview, the caption is that "CNN Asks O'Donnell Tough Questions". You have to be kidding. The interview was a reasonable question followed by O'Donnell spewing talking points. For instance, when asked about both extending the tax cuts and balancing the budget in light of expert's skepticism, O'Donnell claimed that tax cuts increase revenues. This was expressly contradicted by Alan Greenspan, the darling of the tax cutting GOP, who said tax cuts do not pay for themselves. But where was the follow up?? Why did you not ask her what her economic background is compared to Greenspan? This looked like a campaign commercial, instead of a hard hitting interview.

    October 7, 2010 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
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