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. Eric Hermanson

    Wait a minute. That show was taped in 1999, or 11 years ago. She said she was "20" when taping the show, and now she's "40 something"? Doesn't add up. She's still lying.

    October 7, 2010 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  2. Matt

    Translation: "I've learned that stating my completely bizarro fundamentalist views in public might not help me get elected outside the Bible Belt, so I only bring them up when there aren't cameras or reporters around."

    October 7, 2010 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  3. gg

    Cry O'Donnel sweetie cry! I don't feel sorry for you because you lie to me that you are not a Witch any more!

    October 7, 2010 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  4. Gary in San Diego

    I'll buy the fact that during the period of the Maher interviews Ms. O'Donnell was a young naive bimbo and that now she is a mature naive bimbo.

    October 7, 2010 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  5. OrangeCat

    it's too little, too late. You are what you make yourself out to be, and by hiding instead of facing it, she ended up making it even more true.

    Not that anything she could do would really make a difference. She's STILL the same person, who believes all sorts of crazy things, who is shaped not by her reasoning capacity but by her emotions.

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

    As a lifelong (Madisonian) Republican, it is my observation that while she may have matured in comparison to her past, but she is by no means prepared (intellectually or emotionally) to serve in the Senate. There are just too many examples of her lack of critical thinking skills to entrust her with the nation's business.

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

    if a candidate's past does not matter as she is asserting here (the election is about the future), how come people keep bringing up community organizing stuff? experience level?

    October 7, 2010 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  8. zounds

    Aw, be proud. I don't see witches making trouble in the news, lately. I don't see 'em bullying, cheating people out of their
    life savings. Besides, broom production is down,and has been outsourced to China. Be a proud witch of the USA and buy American-brooms.

    October 7, 2010 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  9. bailoutsos

    "I've matured in my policies." --- Has anyone heard her "Pledge to America"?

    October 7, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  10. Cat, Holt MO

    This woman is NOT qualified to be anything, maybe a street sweeper, with her buddy the moron of the world Palin. They could be 2 of the three stooges. Dumber and even dumber

    October 7, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  11. Dave

    As a lifelong (Madisonian) Republican, it is my observation that while she may have matured in comparison to her past antics, she is by no means prepared (intellectually or emotionally) to serve in the Senate. There are just too many examples of her lack of critical thinking skills to entrust her with the nation's business.

    October 7, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  12. Charlotte

    This crybaby Palin-alike has absolutely no substance. Just because she is 41 now does not mean she is mature – almost everything that comes out of her mouth proves otherwise. Well, I don't live in Delaware and won't be able to vote in this contest but I sure hope the good people there have enough sense not to send this nitwit to D.C.

    October 7, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  13. ic0n2900

    You are not me Mrs. O'Donnell.

    October 7, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  14. PK California

    So, we have to wait for her to be full grown to be a viable senator????????? DUH!!!! So she claims to be ME???? I think not! Time voters started to look for a serious candidate who can respresent them. Send the clowns back to the circus!

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

    Do you people, her supporters mainly, realize that Christine O'Donnell JUST got her Bachelor's degree in 2010?! She JUST finished college with a degree in ENGLISH! Yep, that's her background. Nothing involving anything with politics, yet she's running for US Senate–to make policies and vote on life changing decisions for millions of people. She's 40 something and JUST finished undergraduate college!

    This is the kind of person that you want to have supreme power over Delaware?! She'll be one of two Senators for a whole state! OMG, what the hell is going on with people?! It's just sad.

    October 7, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  16. Bill

    Strange that all the Fox bashing happens on CNN...the Democrat News Network. Fox is far less partisan than, say, EVERY OTHER NETWORK. I see the annual mid-term donkey whining has already begun.

    October 7, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  17. H

    ok forget the witchcraft

    she stole campaign money to pay her bills, this was present day.

    October 7, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  18. OhJeezNotThisAgain

    She has no opinion on climate change? Sorry sweetie, but it's a major issue, regardless of which side you're on. There may very well be important votes in the Senate regarding carbon emissions, so it's absurd for her to think she can just sidestep the issue. If she isn't informed enough to even take a position then she's not qualified for the job.

    October 7, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  19. Ellen

    Just when you thought comedy was dead, this woman comes along.

    October 7, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  20. MR AMERICA

    She was NOT in her 20's in 1998 or 1999. She was 31 and 32.

    October 7, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  21. Hugo

    I've matured too, but I never was a witch.

    October 7, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  22. Deuce

    If this nut job manages to win the election than you fools deserve her.

    Anyone with half a brain better be getting together a caravan of voters to keep it from happening, that's all I can say...

    October 7, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  23. Colin

    So no opinion on climate change/global warming and the issue of education is irrelevant. Great, why wouldn't someone want her in office?

    The fact that people support her...literally terrifies me.

    October 7, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  24. Rabbi David

    Ya know I'm thinking the "system types" Government,politi-HOs (instead of politicos) and esp the media just don't get it.Citizens are so TIRED of your establishment "respectable" "corporate vetted" so called "qualified candidates" (usually child molesters, liars and cheats) that A N Y B O D Y not certified by the troika of Government-Corporate or Media is looking like the comming of the messiah. I would pick this woman HANDS DOWN over anybody currently in office. On that magic day in November-save your Country America put out the old and for the love of God bring in ANYBODY that is new.You will never regret it......

    October 7, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  25. MR AMERICA

    I don't want someone "like me" I want someone qualified. And I would have voted for Obamacare (as the ahole GOP likes to call it.) And she is a liar...she was in her 30's, not 20's. 1999 was NOT "20 years ago."

    October 7, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
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