September 19th, 2010
12:44 PM ET
12 years ago

Rove: O'Donnell must explain witchcraft comments

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption =" Rove says O'Donnell needs to explain her witchcraft comments."](CNN) – Karl Rove – the top GOP strategist who declared last week that Christine O’Donnell’s surprise victory does “little good” for the party – is now calling on the surprise Senate nominee to explain her comments about witchcraft.

"In southern Delaware where there are a lot of churchgoing people, they're going to want to know what that is all about,” the former aide to President George W. Bush told "Fox News Sunday."

“My view is she can’t simply ignore it,” he said. “She’s got to deal with it and explain it and put it in its most sympathetic light and move on.”

O’Donnell uttered the comments in question during a 1999 appearance on the now-canceled show “Politically Incorrect,” saying then, “I dabbled into witchcraft – I never joined a coven. But I did, I did. ... I dabbled into witchcraft.”

The 11-year-old interview was dug up Friday by liberal comedian Bill Maher – the former host of Politically Incorrect. During the 1999 appearance, O’Donnell also described one of her first dates – with a witch “on a satanic altar.”

A spokesman for the O’Donnell campaign did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

“She can’t simply say, ‘Oh these are unfactual, and not true,' and just ignore them,” Rove also said. “I don’t think the people of Delaware have or are accepting that as a reasonable explanation.

Citing exhaustion and scheduling conflicts, O’Donnell canceled her plans over the weekend to appear on both "Fox News Sunday" and CBS’ "Face the Nation" – a move Rove called a “smart decision.”

“She shouldn’t have accepted in the first place,” he said. “It’s Delaware voters, not conservatives across the country who will determine the outcome of this election … and there is, as I say, resistance.”

Turning to Alaska – where Sen. Lisa Murkowski launched a write-in bid after losing to a Tea Party-backed candidate last month – Rove declared the senator can’t win.

"She's going to lose," he said, adding, "[Joe Miller] won it fair and square, and Murkowski should not pursue this very, very sad line she is pursuing."

- CNN's Mariano Castillo contributed to this report

Filed under: Christine O'Donnell • Karl Rove
soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. Patrick from Minnesota

    Salem Witch Trials Part II?

    September 19, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |

    She could wind up as the "Wicked Witch of the East"!

    September 19, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. Dad of a Diabetic

    A woman who dabbled in witchcraft a decade ago is a big problem for conservative christians, but a woman who would deny hundreds of thousands of American children and young adults, with cancer and type 1 diabetes, health insurance is not a problem for conservative christians?????? Let me get this clear, playing with witchcraft is terrible, but denying health insurance to a 3 year old little girl with cancer or diabetes is morally acceptable to conservative christians???? I now understand the conservative christian philosophy. "I will buy my health insurance and Lazarus can buy his", because the rich man was right to be indifferent to the suffering of Lazarus!!!!

    September 19, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. Stewart in OR

    Pretty oxymoronic comment coming from a WARLOCK!!!!!!

    September 19, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  5. markiejoe

    Sweet Rosy O'Donnell is going to lose regardless.

    But that being said, Karl Rove is an anachronism. He's irrelevant to anything going on in the 21st Century.

    September 19, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  6. Patriot

    Give her a break, Karl. She was a good witch like Glinda, not like her sister, the wicked witch of the East. We're off to see the Wizard!

    September 19, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  7. Silvio Renzulli

    The Tea Party trying to get a witch in Congress, oh this good!!! LOL

    September 19, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  8. Marge

    I got a feeling this is only the beginning. I sure wish Friday would roll around on Monday.

    September 19, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
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