Senate races

Senate races

O'Donnell: No witchcraft, otherwise Karl Rove would be a supporter

Delaware's Republican Senate nominee on Sunday made light of a years-old video clip in which she said, "I dabbled into witchcraft."

The Tea Party-backed Christine O'Donnell, who upset longtime Rep. Mike Castle in the state's primary last week, joked Sunday that she made the comments when she was in high school, asking, "How many of you didn't hang out with questionable folks in high school?

"There's been no witchcraft since," O'Donnell noted. "If there was, Karl Rove would be a supporter now."

The video clip surfaced Friday when TV host Bill Maher aired it. The 11-year-old clip was from a previously unaired episode of Maher's old show, "Politically Incorrect."

O'Donnell responded while attending a GOP event in Delaware on Sunday.

Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," Rove said O'Donnell needed to explain the comments to voters. "In southern Delaware, there are a lot of church-going people; they're probably going to want to know, What was that all about?" Rove said.

After traveling to Washington on Friday to speak at the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit, O'Donnell canceled two Sunday show appearances, which drew fire from the campaign of her Democratic opponent, Chris Coons.

"Ms. O'Donnell has not yet provided a single solution or idea on how to get our economy back on track," Coons spokesman Daniel McElhatton said in a statement. "It is clear that she is simply not prepared to defend her positions."

O'Donnell's campaign said she returned to the state to attend church and keep a previously scheduled commitment to appear at a Republican picnic in Lincoln.


DeMint rips Murkowski as 'big-tent hypocrite'

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) ripped into Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) as a "big-tent hypocrite" in a fundraising e-mail for Tea Party favorite and GOP nominee Joe Miller on Saturday.

Murkowski announced Friday that, after the primary defeat at the hands of Miller, she would pursue a write-in bid to keep her Senate seat. 

DeMint's e-mail for the Senate Conservatives Fund accused Murkowski of putting her personal interests above party interests and said her move "puts this seat at serious risk."

"The establishment loves to lecture conservatives about how we need to support liberal candidates to 'expand the tent' and win seats for Republicans," DeMint wrote. "But when these candidates lose their primaries, many leave the party and join the opposition. When conservatives lose their primaries, however, they accept defeat and support the nominee. Murkowski's betrayal provides more proof that big-tent hypocrites don't really care about winning a majority for Republicans."

DeMint singled out Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) and Charlie Crist (I-Fla.) for facing "defeat" and leaving the party.

"This is why Republicans shouldn't apologize for supporting principled conservatives in primary elections, even in states like Delaware," DeMint wrote without metioning surprise nominee and Tea Party favorite Christine O'Donnell by name.

"Principles have never been that important to Murkowski," DeMint said, proceeding to assail his Senate colleague for her positions on cap-and-trade, healthcare reform repeal, earmarks and abortion rights.


No meeting for O'Donnell and NRSC

There was no meeting Friday between Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell (R) and National Republican Senate Campaign Chairman John Cornyn (R-Texas). 

The two were supposed to meet when O'Donnell came to Washington.

O'Donnell campaign officials said the schedules couldn't be synced but they are hoping to meet soon.

The meeting was set up to reiterate the NRSC's support for O'Donnell's campaign after her surprise win in Tuesday's primary against party-backed candidate Mike Castle (R-Del.). There were questions about how much the party would back her after the NRSC released a tepid statement following her victory. But the group quickly donated $42,000 — the maximum allowed — to her campaign, and Cornyn released a statement saying she had their backing.

O'Donnell is speaking Friday afternoon at the Value Voters Summit in Washington.