Senate nom addresses Maher video clips, says “you have a forty-something woman running for office, not a 20-year-old” on CNN.
Tea Partier passes on question about Palin’s qualifications for president.
From CNN’s “The Situation Room”:
JIM ACOSTA, HOST: It’s Christine O’Donnell, Republican candidate for Senate. And we appreciate you making the time for us. And obviously we’re very happy that you’re doing this interview, so we appreciate it. Let me ask you about these last three weeks. You won the Republican primary and then your world sort of got turned upside down…
CHRISTINE O’DONNELL (R-DE), SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: That is right.
ACOSTA: There were video clips coming out of the woodwork. What happened and how have you dealt with it?
O’DONNELL: Well, for one, you know, we won the primary, we challenged the political system as we know it. We busted up the back room deals and we — we made a lot of people afraid. And I think one of the reasons why — you know, what you see — what you see going forward in this campaign is my opponent is trying to attack me because my positions are right on the issues.
I’m concerned about what’s important to the people of Delaware. I want to restore the economy through the private business. I want people to be innovators again, where an idea can turn into a thriving business. My opponent can’t attack me on that, you know. But she wants to stop these tax hikes that are going to put people out of business. Shame on her.
ACOSTA: Right. But yet, your latest ad says, “I’m you.”
ACOSTA: It’s as if you’re trying to reintroduce yourself to voters.
ACOSTA: Why is that? Is that what you’re trying to do?
O’DONNELL: Absolutely. My goal has been, since the primary, to go out and meet as many voters as possible so that they can get to know me and I can get to know them. I’ve got to hear what’s on their minds so that I can know how I can help in Washington, DC. My goal, my whole candidacy is about putting the political process back into the hands of the people. I’m not a career politician. I’m not someone who’s been groomed, I have not been handpicked by her party elite, by the party bosses, obviously.
O’DONNELL: I’m an average American citizen. I’m an average Delawarean. I want to go to Washington, D.C. and do what most Delawareans would do. I would not have — voted for Obama Care. I would not have voted for the bailouts. I would not have voted for more of the spending bills that are putting us into bankruptcy. And neither would you.
O’DONNELL: That’s what my message “I’m you” means. I want to do what you would do in Washington, DC.
ACOSTA: Let me ask you one more thing about these video clips that have surfaced. Have you been embarrassed by those clips?
O’DONNELL: No, I haven’t been embarrassed. And I’m not saying that I’m proud. It’s — you know, obviously, what they’re trying to do is paint a picture of who I was 20 years ago. You know, I — 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. And I think most people…
ACOSTA: Were you just having fun back then? Is that your — your message?
O’DONNELL: Well, I think that’s, again, as I — as I said on Hannity’s show, a lot of what I said, I had a newfound faith and I saw this as an opportunity to talk about the faith on national TV, more as a ministry opportunity. But voters need to rest assured that when I go to Washington, DC, it’s the Constitution by which I will make all of my decisions. And I will defend their right to disagree with me.
ACOSTA: And you have…
O’DONNELL: That’s the most important thing.
ACOSTA: OK. Let me ask you about some issues. You said last night at your event that you would vote to extend the Bush tax cuts. Now I’ve covered a lot of Tea Party rallies and they’re all about cutting the deficit. How do you extend the Bush tax cuts and cut the deficit at the same time, because the experts say it’s impossible.
O’DONNELL: It is not impossible. First of all, any time taxes have decreased, revenue has increased, because what you’re doing is you’re putting money back into the private citizens, who then go start businesses and create jobs based on the private sector, not government spending. They go spend that money on those new businesses that are starting. So it happened under Kennedy. It happened under Reagan. When you decrease taxes, revenues increase.
ACOSTA: But under Bill Clinton, the economy did gang busters, right? And those tax rates…
O’DONNELL: Because we had a Republican Congress who was controlling spending and…
ACOSTA: But those tax rates were…
O’DONNELL: — lowering our taxes.
ACOSTA: Those tax rates were where they would be if the Bush tax cuts were extended, is that right?
O’DONNELL: But what we also have to do is make sure that we reign in spending. Spending has been out of control, whether it’s been on, you know, Republicans’ watch or the Democrats’ watch. We can afford to balance our budget and spend within our means if we cut a lot of this wasteful spending that we see coming from Washington, DC.
ACOSTA: Let me ask you about health care, because you said you would vote to repeal Obama Care, as you call it and as everybody calls it.
ACOSTA: Let me ask you about the health care reform law, because there are protections in there for consumers that a lot of people, even some Republicans, say are very important, such as the law would deny — would — would ban insurance companies from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. Would you scrap that, as well?
O’DONNELL: What I want to do is create real health care reform. Things like that are absolutely crucial. We have to make sure that people with — with pre-existing conditions get the coverage and care that they need…
ACOSTA: So you would keep that?
O’DONNELL: But what this — I want to scrap the bill and start over, with real reform, piece by piece. Nobody is disputing that we need health care reform. But this bill is a massive government take over of the health care system that gives the government way too much power. Uncle Sam has no business coming into the examination room, getting between you and your doctor. And that’s what this bill does. We need to repeal it so that we can re — reenact real reform.
ACOSTA: Is that even realistic, because I know the Republicans say we want to repeal the bill. But the president would have to sign any bill that you pass through the Congress. So isn’t repealing health care reform really unrealistic?
O’DONNELL: That kind of throw in the towel mentality is what got us to this mess that we’re in the first place. Repealing Obama Care is absolutely realistic. I heard a statistic this morning that one out of four Democrats are for full repeal of Obama Care.
ACOSTA: So you think…
O’DONNELL: What this…
ACOSTA: — you could get Democrats to go on board and perhaps…
ACOSTA: — override a veto, is what — that’s what you’re saying?
O’DONNELL: Well, not even it’s necessary — here’s why I think it’s realistic. A couple of things. Number one, a lot of Democrats are coming forward, saying we want to start over. We want to scrap this bill. We all made a mistake. We didn’t read it. We didn’t know about the unintended consequences. As elected officials, our first priority needs to be taking care of the most vulnerable in our society, so we do need real health care reform.
But if — if the House and the Senate passes a bill to fully repeal Obama Care, so that we can clear the way to start over with true reform that helps the most vulnerable, and then the president goes and vetoes that bill and the will of the people has been — has been made very clear, if Barack Obama vetoes that, 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. So if — if he chooses to thumb his nose at — at the will of the American people and ram this — this unrealistic, unconstitutional bill down America’s throats, then there will be consequences politically for Obama.
ACOSTA: Let me ask you about gun control, because you were at an event today with a gun rights organization who endorsed you. And you said at the event, quote: “I will make sure the U.N. doesn’t supersede our rights, as well.” Are you saying that the United Nations has the ability to supersede the laws of the United Nations, take gun rights away from people?
O’DONNELL: The United Nations does not have the bill — the ability. And that’s why the U.S. Senate cedes that sovereignty to the United Nations. There are…
ACOSTA: But that would never happen, right?
O’DONNELL: Well, there are — the U.N. right now is considering some massive reforms, massive policies that will severely restrict our Second Amendment rights. When I go to Washington, DC, whether it’s on the Second Amendment or any other issue, I will fight to make sure that we don’t continue to cede more of our sovereignty over to the United Nations.
ACOSTA: And let me do sort of a quick lightning round.
ACOSTA: Because I haven’t heard — and I don’t know if all of your positions on some of the core key issues out there are — are well known. On global warming, is it manmade?
ACOSTA: Does human activity contribute to global warming?
O’DONNELL: I don’t have an opinion on that. I would have to look at a specific piece of legislation. When it comes to Cap-and-Trade, the bill that has been supposedly out there to help combat climate change, I’m absolutely opposed to Cap-and-Trade because of its economic consequences — what it will do to the individual household, skyrocketing our utility bills beyond what we can afford. It doesn’t address the real issue that it was intended to address.
ACOSTA: Should creationism be taught in public schools?
O’DONNELL: That doesn’t have anything to do with what I will do in Congress.
ACOSTA: But do you think that it should be taught in public schools?
O’DONNELL: That has nothing to do with what I would do in Congress. My opinion on that is irrelevant.
ACOSTA: Let me ask you about Afghanistan and the president’s timetable for withdrawal. A good idea or a bad idea?
O’DONNELL: We need to make our foreign policy decisions based on their effectiveness, not based on time. So we need to take a serious look at what’s going on over there and before we make any decisions, we need to examine whether or not it’s weakening our own security.
ACOSTA: Is — is Sarah Palin qualified to be president?
O’DONNELL: Is she running for president?
ACOSTA: I don’t know. You tell me.
O’DONNELL: Well, again, a hypothetical. I don’t know if she…
ACOSTA: I’ve heard you talk on the phone with her. Does she advise your campaign?
O’DONNELL: She does not advise our campaign.
ACOSTA: Does she give you advice?
O’DONNELL: She gives me…
ACOSTA: Does she give you advice?
O’DONNELL: — you go, girl advice. Don’t listen to them. If any — anyone really..
ACOSTA: Does she really tell you to speak through Fox News?
O’DONNELL: Well, I heard that through — she didn’t tell me personally…
O’DONNELL: — but I heard her say something like that on “O’Reilly,” you know, because, you know, if anyone knows about the politics of personal destruction, it’s — it’s women candidates, women politicians like Sarah Palin.
ACOSTA: If the Republicans take the Senate, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell or Jim DeMint?
O’DONNELL: I don’t know yet, because what I would need to — what I would need to see is Jim DeMint running?
ACOSTA: You tell me.
O’DONNELL: I honestly don’t know. I — I love Senator DeMint. I love what he does. He’s a — you know, he’s a principled man. But what I’ve said, when people have asked me who I would support in leadership, I don’t know that as an outside — outsider right now I am a candidate, not a U.S. senator.
ACOSTA: Is the unemployment…
O’DONNELL: Senator DeMint…
ACOSTA: Is the unemployment problem in this country Barack Obama’s fault or George Bush’s fault?
O’DONNELL: It’s a combination of politicians in Washington losing their way. Like I said, whether it’s Republicans or Democrats, our so-called leaders in Washington have lost their way and are no longer in touch with the needs of the Delawarean — an — any citizen, not just Delaware. So I think what we need to get our country back on track is to replace career politicians with citizen politicians.
ACOSTA: Let me make this the last thing. Your staff was very reluctant to have us ask you about these past statements that you made in the past. And I — I wanted to ask you, why is that? Because aren’t they…
O’DONNELL: I think…
ACOSTA: — aren’t they your statements?
O’DONNELL: 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 in Delaware, how we’re going to get private business jobs back in Delaware, how we’re going to get our economy back on track, how we’re going to empower the individual and the entrepreneur to open up those ma and pa businesses back on Main Street. That’s what’s important to the Delawareans and that’s what should be important to both candidates in this race.
ACOSTA: So you’re never going to talk about your time with Bill Maher?
O’DONNELL: No. Why? What I did — what I said or did on a comedy show, you know, over a decade ago is not relevant to this election.
ACOSTA: All right. Christine O’Donnell, thank you for your time.
O’DONNELL: Thank you.
ACOSTA: I appreciate it. Nice talking to you.
O’DONNELL: Thank you. Anytime.
ACOSTA: All right. Good talking to you.
O’DONNELL: Thank you.