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. MDwebpro

    If, by "matured," Christine O'Donnell means that she has traded her once-hot looks and thirst-for-adventure attitude for a "No Fun Allowed, we're proper Christian Republicans" outlook on life, then yes, I guess she has turned into quite the stick-in-the-mud. And that's too bad. Because that fun, young woman in the Maher clips seems like the sort of gal that I would have enjoyed dating in college. Conversely, I wouldn't get within 50 feet of the sanctimonious and tiresome old biddy she has become.

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

    The majority of posters here don't believe in witchcraft, but they sure do believe in public lynch mob menatlity.

    October 7, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  3. Tim in Omaha

    Why are people so hung up on comments that were made more than a decade ago? Shall we go to the archives and dig up every comment ever made by a Democrat running for office? Personally I'd like to see Barbara Boxer explain away all those bad checks she wrote in the House Banking scandle... but since she's a democrat, no one will ever bring up something that happened that long ago. Anybody else, fair game!

    October 7, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  4. Marry

    Ms O'Donnell: 'I'm an average citizen'
    I can only guess that Ms O’Donnell refers to the average 20% of the “right wing conservative” citizen. However they are, based on their behavior and intellectual capacities and the way we got to know them, WAY below average! Please explain why a person with below average capacities should be voted into a position where their lack of understanding of complicated issues will affect my live?
    Please, go out and vote in November. But vote informed, responsible, and smart! Don’t let the “Conservatives” fool you again!

    October 7, 2010 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  5. Kathy

    I wish she'd just get on her broom and fly away. The Repubilcan party and the TeaClan party are a joke!

    October 7, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  6. Michelle

    Witch canidate will win?

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

    I still think she's not right for the job

    October 7, 2010 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  8. PAUL

    Well it that the witch has matured from a cockroach to a worm

    October 7, 2010 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  9. Patriot

    Endorsed by Flailin' Palin, a failed Governor from the boondocks, this woman is proof positive of the widsom of Forest Gump: "Stupid is as stupid does." Where are the statesmen of stature, the women of ACCOMPLISHMENT. Why don't intelligent people want to serve "We, the People?"

    October 7, 2010 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  10. Mike

    Why are these overly Christian candidates so convinced they're representing me? I masturbate furiously and I do not want it to be a crime.

    October 7, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  11. Yahoo

    She should be bagging groceries, watering horses, or making dresses.

    October 7, 2010 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  12. Donkeykock

    You know why most women like to rip on her? Because she is pretty and they are not. Because she is attractive and they are ugly. Because she is fit and they are fat. Most guys rip on her because they have to sleep with their big fat American wives and they could never have a woman as beautiful as Christine or a woman as smart and intellectual. Now you know why YOU rip on her and so does everyone else.

    October 7, 2010 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  13. Lobo Joe

    As Sir Walter Scott noted, " What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive."

    I guess they didn't teach her that at Oxford, or Farleigh Dickinson, for that matter.

    October 7, 2010 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  14. johnnyD

    I'm sure she has matured, but she's not qualified for the US Senate, that's clear. Where are the bright young minds of the Republican party? Why do we have to put up with these ridiculous people with their "Christian" agendas? How is the GOP letting this happen? It makes my party look like idiots? There are a lot of intelligent, qualified conservatives out there I'm sure, but we're stuck with these creationist lunatics.

    October 7, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  15. Rustyshunt

    She's not smart enough to be a witch
    Tarot cards, MAYBE!

    October 7, 2010 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  16. Doug C.

    So Candidate O'Donnell has no opinion on whether human activity contributes to climate change and thinks that here opinion on teaching creationism in schools is irrelevant. Have a spine and tell the voters what you think. This suggests that she thinks her ideas on the relevance of science is unimportant. Science and technology is one of the key areas to grow if we want America to remain the global economic leader. She is either being evasive or really has no intellectual depth. Either way, we don't need another non-thinker in the senate.

    October 7, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  17. Drew Williams

    She was what, 31 when she was on Mahers' show and sound like a babbling twit? John Kennedy was 26 when he commanded the PT 109 in combat for God's sake. Please woman, your views are and will be suspect for good reason, I don't care if your 63.

    October 7, 2010 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  18. oldload

    My, how the left blathers and tilts at windmills as their policies fail.

    October 7, 2010 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  19. silky

    Both O'donnell and Palin is dumber than a box of rocks, its like the blind leading the blind, it shows u how dumb O'donnell is having a mentor who didn't know what countries was part of NAFTA.

    October 7, 2010 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  20. spanky

    The worst comments about this woman were made by other Republicans. She chooses to ignore reality and blame the media.

    October 7, 2010 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  21. mike hawk

    how have you matured? On to voodoo now?

    October 7, 2010 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  22. Jon KIng

    Well many women were not that stupid and 'immature' even at age 10....lets vote for one of them.

    October 7, 2010 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  23. Bill C

    I love reading all of these hateful, vitriolic comments from the supposedly more compassionate and more inclusive party. wow. Talk about hypocritical.

    October 7, 2010 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  24. Liz

    I can hardly type for laughing, this woman is such a joke.

    October 7, 2010 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  25. GeorgeB from Ohio

    Well now ... THAT'S reassuring ...

    October 7, 2010 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
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