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. bailoutsos

    30 minutes since my last post and it is still waiting for moderation? Guess everyone went home for the night.

    October 7, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  2. Bluemax77

    She’s matured since Bill Maher? In what way exactly? She appears to be the same dumb airhead she was in the ‘90s. Seriously, is American that stupid to vote for halfwits like O’Donnell or Palin? Do we really want a kindergarten level government and be the laughing stock of the world – again? For God’s sake leave us with some dignity...

    October 7, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  3. socal frank

    Light  travels faster than sound. That is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak. 

    October 7, 2010 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  4. Dennis

    If more mature meaning being able to lie more effectively, she's matured.

    October 7, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  5. Matt

    Dude, she totally mature and sane. She doesn't believe in Zeus or any guy in the sky who suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder so much that he scrutinizes every single human being's activities every second of the day...does she? Oh wait, she does. Cuckoo, cuckoo......

    October 7, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  6. Jon

    Okay, fine, people change, fair enough. Would still be nice if she'd consent to some kind of media cross-examination, so that the public has some idea of who she is.

    October 7, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  7. Tom

    History is the best predictor of the future. Yes, "You go girl," go away!

    October 7, 2010 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  8. Boberino

    The issue for O'Donnell isn't the idea that she thinks she is a witch. It is that she believes evolution is a myth. She believes scientists have developed a mouse with a human brain. She thinks women who have been raped, and girls that are victims of incest should be forced to give birth to children because it is God's will. She is a delusional bible thumper that believes in myths and ignores science. Further, she doesn't care about womens rights. She is not worthy of such a position as senator.

    October 7, 2010 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  9. Jay

    I though she wasn't doing any more interviews with the national media

    October 7, 2010 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  10. JR

    Matured huh, have you matured since you said this piece of paranoid?

    "They're following me. They follow me home at night. I make sure that I come back to the townhouse and then we have our team come out and check all the bushes and check all the cars to make sure that - they follow me."
    —Delaware GOP Senate nominee and Tea Party favorite Christine O'Donnell, claiming that unnamed political opponents are following her, Weekly Standard interview, Sept. 2, 2010

    October 7, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  11. paul.c

    The lunatics are taking ove and are becoming more verbal with their idiotic trash.WHY does america let these people win votes?WHAT has happened to this country,that wackos like palin,o donnell,limbaugh,rubio,beck,hannity are allowed to even exist and dumb down our politics.We have become a nation of moron politicians.The right are churning out this insane garbage and trying to sell it to us as politics for our future??.I feel like i am living in the twilight zone everytime i hear these fox news tea party lunatics open their idiotic mouths.What has happened to my country?..Where is my country gone? when will sanity return.

    October 7, 2010 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  12. Sensible Joe

    Mature people don't lie about what colleges they attended and graduated from. It's an amateurish, easily unraveled lie.

    October 7, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  13. Marie

    Give her a break.

    October 7, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  14. Rachel

    Matured? She's hasn't had a job for how many years, won't be interviewed by the national media and thinks like a child. This is mature?

    October 7, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  15. Barry

    O'Donnell "I am not a witch.
    Nixon "I am not a crook.

    October 7, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  16. shawn

    I read there will be less women in the senate and house after this election, but I just don't see it. It seems women are very attracted to this far right cause...especially in the Tea Bag world. Have you been to a Tea Bag rally? (I have) and there are as many women as cranky old men...it's great!

    Regardless, this women claims she has matured...into what? From liberally searching for her religion and something to clink to to being a far right jesus freak who hates masturbation!??!! Please...like the other poster said...where are the "normal" women on the right who are not extremist?

    October 7, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  17. Bluemax77

    She’s matured since Bill Maher? In what way exactly? She appears to be the same dumb airhead she was in the ‘90s. Seriously, is America that stupid to vote for halfwits like O’Donnell or Palin? Do we really want a kindergarten level government and be the laughing stock of the world – again? For God’s sake leave us with some dignity...

    October 7, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  18. LMD

    Okay I see her political ads where I live. I do not see her as maturing any more than she was. Come on,her slogan is "I am not a witch,I am you",in that little girl voice . And now every one is out to get her!! Christine,you have shown that you are not true to what you say. First and foremost,you have yet to give a full "local" interview. You have evaded,avoided,and denied,you have told reporters to "speak to your attorney",when faced with questions regarding campaign fund abuse. You giggle instead of giving an articulate answer. So when you say you have matured,maybe you found a gray hair,and you think that makes you mature....

    October 7, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  19. xlntcat

    well, she never matured to the point that she sought gainful employment. She didn't mature sufficiently not to use the federal student loan program as her personal ATM attempting to leave the tax payers holding the bag by defaulting on all payments until she was sued. She did not mature sufficiently not to use federally backed home loan programs to secure funding which she lacked any means by which to repay but lived in rent free until she was evicted. She failed to mature to the extent that would have prevented her from repetitively lying about her education, credentials and qualifications. She wasn't mature enough not to use her campaign fund for her personal expenses,. This is a flim-flam artist, a tax cheat that now wants access to the rest of your tax dollars.

    October 7, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  20. Mike Johnson

    "Today you have a forty something woman running for office. Not a 20 year old. So that's a big difference," she added." This sure doesn't work for anyone in the Obama white House. They are constantly being held by Fox News and talk radio for things they said and people they knew over twenty years ago.

    October 7, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  21. Joe citizen abroad

    "I'm not a witch...I'm you." Wow. I am bowled over by the depth, cleverness and maturity of that communication strategy. Not.

    October 7, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  22. carolinago

    She may have matured, but she clearly can't do math- she was making these comments a little over ten years ago, meaning she was in her thirties, not twenties (and if she was, it was her late twenties). No wonder she hasn't had a real job in years.

    October 7, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  23. NamVet

    She's "matured"? Well, so has Jane Fonda. That makes two witches (b for w substitution is ok) who America does not need to see in public,

    October 7, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  24. Tired-of-the-Tea-Party

    Christine - the Bill Maher bits were from 1998 ... it is now 2010 - this was a little over tens years ago. But your comments say that you are "forty something" now and the quotes were from a "twenty year old" - oh my god, your arithmetic is worse than George Bush's and we saw what that arithmetic did to the budget surplus from Clinton - Christine do us a favor ... go back to comedy ... (although you would be quite the joke for six years in the Senate) - the US can ill afford another idiot in Congress !

    October 7, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  25. Chuck D

    I really don't know what is funnier, hearing the stories about this woman or listening to republicans squirm talking about standing behind her candidacy.

    October 7, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
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