October 7th, 2010
07:00 PM ET
8 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. Kimo

    I don't want my Senators to be average. I want someone who knows economics, defense, foreign policy, etc. I do not want someone in office who is no smarter than anyone else. I do not want someone who thinks that scientists have created mice with fully functioning human brains and who thinks evolution cannot be true or else monkeys would still be evolving into humans. Her lack of education and lack of reasoning ability is astounding. I also want someone who is honest and does not fudge on their taxes and use campaign contributions for personal gain. We have Sarah Palin. We don't need a Sarah Palin clone.

    October 7, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  2. hal9thou

    Somebody push this one into an oven, QUICK!

    October 7, 2010 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  3. anonymous

    Matured? To what? Head Witch?

    October 7, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  4. Mr. Phil

    "I've matured in my policies"??? You didn't answer a single question on policy. How exactly does that show maturation?

    October 7, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  5. mayhempit.com

    good to see that this woman think see can pull the wool over everyone eyes is foolish you are a crook and a lair you should find a trick to poof go away tea p hoe...

    October 7, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  6. Black Adam

    I believe she can mature a little, but people don't change. She's still as stupid and holds the same values as 8-10 years ago.

    October 7, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  7. works for me

    Perhaps she has "matured", but, like Palin, hasn't got any smarter. There's no intellectual curiosity there with either one. They're just GOPuppets with all strings attached.

    October 7, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  8. Funbags3

    Most mature people have settled into a career by the time they reach their 40's. Or they at least pay their bills.

    October 7, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  9. buster fix

    i like her. Down with democrats

    October 7, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  10. kenneth fusilier

    Who cares about lying wana b dumb broad sarah palin• Please u go away christine o'donnell. You are a nobody you will never a election no where in the united states of america! Ha ha ha

    October 7, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  11. TC

    You dems and repubs are all the same. Each blaming the other for the problems in this country, while claiming your party possesses the magic bullet. You all make me sick. The two-party system is flawed and always will be.

    October 7, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  12. D. Bunker

    Given the nutty words out of her mouth, the reporters aren't so much engaged in "character assassination" as they are participants in an assisted suicide.

    October 7, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  13. Andrew

    Excuse me, her stance on creationism in classroom is rather important, I'd rather not have a leader who lets religious beliefs stand in the way of basic processing of facts, and would actually support teaching creationism alongside evolution. If she has a position like that, it's tantamount to wanting alchemy taught in chemistry, or the four humors taught next to the germ theory of disease. Politicians need to exhibit the ability to follow facts, and generally, that makes creationism fairly untenable. I don't want a politician who denies the germ theory of disease, heliocentrism, plate tectonics, the theory of relativity, atomic theory, or evolutionary theory. By doing so, they're stating that religion comes before facts and evidence, a frightening prospect to hold.

    October 7, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  14. Carol

    A person is a sum total of all the years they have lived, each decade still lives in us, hopefully maturity improves our ability to think, to love, to reason, and all the good things that keeps us approachable and enjoyed by loved ones, friends, and acquaintances. O'Donnall can only hope she is received in this way, since she assures us she has matured. Personally she seems sincere, but I don't agree with her views.

    October 7, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  15. Inlet local

    I live in Delaware, I am a Democrat, I am voting for her because she is like me, a normal every day person. I no longer will listen to the Democrat attack message. I say grow up Dems, we need to stop character assination. Think I'm done with MSNBC too, is there anything on that channel that is useful besides hating those who have a different point of view?

    October 7, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  16. sdgman

    This woman is the problem with politics and the "dumbification" affect G.W. Bush had on getting elected to POTUS. I DON'T WANT DUMB PEOPLE RUNNING THE COUNTRY, I WANT EXCEPTIONAL PEOPLE RUNNING THE COUNTRY. I want "elite" people running the country. When did "elite" become a bad thing. This chick is a moron and an opportunist. Shut up about your faith.

    October 7, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  17. Craig

    We have so many smart, qualified women in this country. It's a shame none of them ever run for office.

    October 7, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  18. Brian

    She'll need that witchcraft to win in Delaware. She's well behind and we're not that far south of Salem.

    October 7, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  19. mike

    "What I said or did on a comedy show, you know, over a decade ago is not relevant in this election," O'Donnell said.

    if it wasn't relevant, why are you now making more appearances and making an ad saying you are not a witch?

    October 7, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  20. dj

    She said she has changed, that she has evolved into a more mature person but still she doesn't believe in evolution?? Look, in this day and age you have to be well prepared, smart, objective, creative, capable and above all embrace SCIENCE. I don't think that someone like you would have anything of value to offer to millions of Americans that think 100% the opposite of what you think and believe. So you have a long way to go before I can believe that you have evolved. Can't wait to watch Bill Maher tomorrow night.

    October 7, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  21. Bill

    CNN sure is preoccupied with this wacko candidate. I don't recall such attention paid to any of the Democrat wackos that are also out there running for office. How about a similar story on Congressman Alan Grayson?

    October 7, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  22. hal9thou

    Somebody throw this one into an oven, QUICK!

    October 7, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  23. Clarence

    So many people have been feeding the American public a lot of "fear" laced bull about President Obama not being a Christian and not being a U.S. citizen. I wonder how President Obama would be portrayed by the media if he had been televised stating a belief in witchcraft 20 years ago? I believe the media has been extremely kind to this lady; that is, from a comparative standpoint...

    October 7, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  24. Pig Spotter

    Wait! Who has to do a character assassination on O'Donnell when she has done multiple character suicides?
    And once a witch always a witch. Even if it has no religious connotations. Yes, my pretty?

    October 7, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  25. PR_Guy

    if the comments are any indication, their are a lot of passionate progressives reading this article. may i make a suggestion: instead of attacking a fluke of a candidate bound to lose, why not volunteer with your local candidate of choice. it'll go a lot further to making our country better in a few weeks. now i'll try to follow my own advice...

    October 7, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
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