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. Sal

    Both Palin and O'Donnell are both dumb twits..... Are they the best and the brightest the republican party can come up with? No wonder this country is in such a steep decline! And the voters that love these two twits are not very bright either. I hate to say it but American voters are not thinking nor are they very smart. This poor country.......

    October 7, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  2. Deklan Singh

    The new political reality...lead a trite meaningless life while seeking neither knowledge nor wisdom, repeatedly make a fool of yourself and shirk your commitments, memories the Tea Party talking points, get elected to public office.

    October 7, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  3. Kelly

    She's still here? What's with these wannabees? We need educated, experienced professionals from varied backgrounds to assist us with our nation's problems. By the way, I have never had the urge to "dabble" with witchcraft. Either you are a Disciple of Christ or you are not. The decision comes early who those who try their best to "walk the talk", something O'Donnell has yet to experience.

    October 7, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  4. Mike S.

    I love watching the right wing lunatic fringe whack jobs destroy the party of "less deficits."

    October 7, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  5. A Duh

    Clearly, no one ever accused her of being a witch. she was accused of being silly, trite and inconsequential. That is not a character assasination. That is merely an observation. She has the right to change, and clearly has matured from 94, but her views are still cro-mag conservative and she is most importantly, a traitor to the female sex.

    October 7, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  6. blf83

    This woman takes the "Duh factor" to new depths. She is not "machurr" as the valley girls used to say. At this rate, she will require a few hundred more years before I am willing to consider voting for her.

    October 7, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  7. Jonathan Bock

    The grassroot progressive will ROOT YOUR ASS OUT OF THE OFFICE! YOU DO NOT BELONG THERE! However, I wouldn't mind having you cast a character in a TV series called "Charmed". As long you're naked, cast spells, I am okay with that.

    No, you're not mature. You're a PoS pathetic slut who rabble and dabble nonsense.

    October 7, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  8. dan

    It's sad that this is what the republican party has to put into office. She and palin should have a sit com together. and stay out of politics. She says she's me, she doesnt represent ANYONE i know. sad sad sad. small minds and intolerance. that should be the slogan for the NEW republican party.

    October 7, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  9. sue sue

    You naive Americans.. You haven't lived in the Socialist countries like I did. All the Socialist Government fed us was a pure LIE, we were just statistics, not voters. Corruption, nepotism, discrimination... All we had was... nothing. No voice was heard from above. I feel sorry for you people being so uneducated about a "Socialism"(like Bil Maher tries to present it to us.). I feel sorry for you people because you choose sweet liars as your politicians over regular people with imperfections who might represent us. I feel sorry for you people who will end up just like a regular North Korean citizen who is not allowed to wear non-socialist haircuts(hair has to have certain length). I feel sorry for you people who did not read Congressional Communist goals from 1963. Google Communist Goals and you find answers to all your answers. I feel sorry for you people who think all religions and sexual orientations are welcome with Socialism. In fact, In former Socialist countries any religion other than regular ones was considered a CULT and was prosecuted.

    October 7, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  10. Nyarlathotep

    I'm an atheist and even I despise Bill Maher.

    October 7, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  11. Ronnie

    Thank God she is losing!

    October 7, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  12. Chedar

    Matured Hah? I never heard of maturity. Once born a witch always a witch.

    October 7, 2010 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  13. Oscar

    I'm not a republican or an O'Donnell supporter, but I think that pulling out clips of things a forty-something year old said at 20 is ridiculous and lazy on Bill Maher's behalf. Most of us thought a lot of naive things at 20. Even what she considered "dabbling in witchcraft" is just silly.

    October 7, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  14. Still Shakin

    After decades of corporate America shipping US jobs overseas in a never ending quest for higher profits we now have a huge challenge in finding effective ways to create new jobs in the void that's left behind. Her idea is to reward these same corporations and executives to continue along the same path of excessive greed.

    Now here's a woman who's been unable to find a job for years. She couldn't find a job even before the economy went downhill. So how is she going to find thousands of jobs for Americans who are anxious for employment? She doesn't have any solutions.

    I don't need someone so totally incompetent to try selling me her set of religious values. That adds nothing. And her rant on masterbation? Are you kidding me?

    October 7, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  15. tealiban not

    Well, she may have matured ... but in this matter I'm reminded of Ron White's quip ... "you can't fix stupid."

    October 7, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  16. rude

    She finally grants an interview when her poll numbers are rock bottom, she has nothing to lose. She needs those campaign contributions aka her personal piggy bank.
    Too little, too late, she will still lose and her reputation is ruined for life.

    October 7, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  17. mzimi

    She reminds me of that cheese commercial where the cheese is returned to the cellar until it is aged to perfection. This whack job needs to go back to the cellar. She claims she has had to re-invent herself. If you have to re-invent yourself doesn't that mean you have no idea who you are in the first place? Keep changing yourself until people like you? As far as global warming is concerned, everyone has an opinion on that I would think. And, according to Wikipedia, her father was one of the Bozo the Clowns- guess the apple doesn't fall to far from the tree afterall.

    October 7, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  18. Roger Dunn

    She has more brain cells than Palin

    October 7, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  19. w7rkd

    So she's matured since? What, from practicing witch to full witch? LOL

    October 7, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  20. base

    I have to say that I was more mature when I was 10 than Ms. O'Donnell was on the Maher show. Of course, maturity doesn't make you smarter so poor Christine should still use a short bus on her campaign.

    October 7, 2010 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  21. Scott

    I love how the left loves to dig up trash on conservatives and then complain when it's done in reverse. Ms O'Donnell is just like the rest of us ie she learns as she goes along. I think she'll do just fine and has my vote.

    October 7, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  22. buddy

    Typical pro-dem. comments. amazing, but what would you expect from CNN?

    October 7, 2010 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  23. Tom

    She couldnt give a strait answer to any question. Who in their right mind would vote for her?

    October 7, 2010 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  24. quinn

    There's not much difference between Sarah Palin and Christine O'Donnell. Both aren't qualified to hold any form of Public Office, and both have huge egos.

    October 7, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  25. Ant

    what make it so hard for her to answer the french TV reporter question? it is ashame for GOP lawmakers n the Tea party to blame the president for the economic or high unemployment after the C+ to F-.

    October 7, 2010 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
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