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. Ieat

    I doubt she even understands half of the bills being sent to the senate.

    October 7, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  2. George of the jungle

    20 she was about 30 when she made these remarks. so not a teeen ager. Just a repo dummy. Vote the repos out or suffer the results. what a bad joke this woman is.

    October 7, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    She may not be a witch but she is definitely one of the most ignorant people i've ever seen. Masturbation is adultery?! And the other lady who says rape victims who get pregnant are signs from god..hah how do they expect anybody but brainwashed Christian Republicans to agree with them when they have extreme views like that..its sad though because people are actually voting for these crazies.

    October 7, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  4. Celeste

    I"m sure she has matured, when she was on the show she was in her mid-twenties. Also, these bits that keep coming up from the show I"m sure are taken way out of context. Politically Incorrect and Real Time are political talk shows, but Bill Maher is a comedian, hence the show is part political discussion part comedy and humor. Since we've yet to see more than a 15 second clip of these quotes we have no idea if these ridiculous quotes were said jokingly (most likely) or seriously, because we don't know the context of the conversation. All I can say is don't go on a show like Bill Maher if you have political aspirations in mind.

    October 7, 2010 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  5. Doug

    The GOP is desperate if they cast this witch as the front runner for the seat in Delaware.. what were they thinking ?

    October 7, 2010 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  6. Me

    I love it !! Attack Ads up the ying yang but when the tables are turned we hear "this is not about the past it is about the future.. what I did 10 years ago is irrelevant"

    October 7, 2010 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  7. David

    If only you belived in evolution as the problem is you need to evolve – by the way the quotes aren't that old – super weak excuse.

    October 7, 2010 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  8. Hank

    One thing is certain, O'Donnell is not qualified to be a US Senator.

    October 7, 2010 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  9. midnitejax

    This is what we call "Damage Control" to the nth degree. Her managers see the unemployment line in their near future.She has lied and been consistantly unconsistant about everything. Her platform was built on quicksand from the onset, and is sinking faster than the Titanic. What I believe has happened is nothing new in politics really. Her backers picked a young, pretty face, with the Sarah Palin marketing in mind. It is an insult to voters that they actually believe we are voting on cheesecake and not the issues.

    October 7, 2010 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  10. Nacho1

    You have to understand that Bill Maher is an attack dog just like a lot of the politically incorrect correspondents are..........he would not know how to even spell the word...gentleman...much less be one.

    October 7, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  11. tom

    "I HAVE MATURED SINCE THAT SHOW... and now that I am a Right Wing Republican, I will enact laws to make sure NO ONE has the same right to experiment, grow and change. Just ME... ONLY ME"

    October 7, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  12. herrsonic

    I think this is the same girl I had a one night stand with back in the mid-80s after a concert.
    She was quite sensitive and straight to the point, and no game playing one would expect for someone aspiring to be a politician.
    I hope she wins.

    October 7, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  13. Mick

    Of course, only conservatives are allowed to "mature" out of their prior transgressions. Liberals are damned to hell.

    October 7, 2010 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  14. seneca

    It's funny that she says that she has matured since then, being that she was just a witch when she was a kid. I don't seem to remember ever being a witch when I was a kid, or even knowing anyone who was a witch. One of the problems with the Tea party is that they seem to have a penchant for picking people to represent them that are some of the least like normal people. Why is that?

    October 7, 2010 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  15. steve

    a 41 year old is a 40something...sorry but saying a 21 year old to me would indicate a 20something. Not mature by the "sound" of her voice? I would like to judge her maturity by what her voice says, and not just hate her for her "sound". I'm not a fan of hers but using petty bs to knock someone down is pretty....petty

    October 7, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  16. evensteven

    We need to have lotteries to select people for public office and get rid of all this election posturing nonsense.

    October 7, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  17. Danny

    Even Miss Piggy would be better than a Democrat that voted for The Health Care Plan. Vote non Democrat.

    October 7, 2010 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  18. paul123

    When your in a hole, you should stop digging ... really.

    October 7, 2010 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  19. Noah

    She has matured? So, she has the reasoning skills and world view of an 8-year old now? Well, good for her!

    October 7, 2010 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  20. Brent Holland

    "i don't have an opinion on that" is code for: my opinion is crazy and indefensible.

    October 7, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  21. Terry - Indiana

    Attention Conservative Women of America: If you are intelligent, understand right from wrong, have never wanted to be a witch, really went to college, never took money that was not yours, and you are a Republican, we need you to step forward and make America realize that there are Republican Women who are smarter than O'Donnell and Palin.

    October 7, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  22. JJ

    No, you did not. You just became an older dingbat, just like your other dingbat quitter hero, the lipsticked chihuahua from Alaska. :)

    October 7, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  23. Marcus

    Another note of contention and the reason why I think someone better then the 2 canidates for this position should be considered and it is a more important point is that she has a TON of debt and those issues should be resolved before anyone runs for office. Point of contention in those regards is based on risk of corruption. Every politician should be fiancially vetted before being given a candidacy.

    October 7, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  24. Shelby

    I think it's pretty funny that neither Christine O'Donnell OR Miller in Alaska will say that sarah palin is qualified to be president. LOL! Apparently these two candidates are a bit smarter than I thought.

    October 7, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  25. lou

    A 'forty-something woman' she says. She's even wishy washy on telling her age. That doesn't sound like someone who has matured to me.

    October 7, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
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