Palin tells O'Donnell: 'Welcome to my world'

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) on Monday said that Delaware GOP Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell faces virtually the same political challenges she did in 2008, telling her "welcome to my world."

Asked by Fox News's Greta Van Susteren about a spoof of O'Donnell shown on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" that was similar to the show's portrayal of the 2008 vice presidential nominee on the campaign trail, Palin offered words of encouragement to the Tea Party-backed candidate.

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"Didn't see it. Heard about it. And I thought, Christine, welcome to my world," she said. "And really, it isn't a bad world, Christine, because you're going to be effective with your message."

O'Donnell's opponents have compared her unfavorably to Palin, who has been a top target of Democrats since the presidential campaign two years ago.

Since she won the Delaware GOP primary over centrist Rep. Mike Castle earlier this month, Democrats have taken aim at controversial past statements made by O'Donnell about sexual and religious issues, attempting to paint her as a political novice who is too far outside the mainstream.

Palin — who endorsed O'Donnell late in her primary race — faced similar opposition in 2008. Her opponents claimed she was too inexperienced to serve as vice president and did not have a firm grasp of policy issues.

Palin since then has fired back at her critics, accusing them of distorting her message and attacking her personally. O'Donnell, who has never been elected to political office, also has charged her opponents with using personal attacks.

"Yes, lamestream media is not going to like you. They're not going to like your message. Those on the far left, they're going to try to clobber you. And they're going to make some things up and they're going to take things out of context," Palin said. "But you will be effective in your message if you stay on point. If you're absolutely committed to what you believe is right for your constituents, then you're going to do just fine."

Palin backed O'Donnell's decision to cancel two Sunday political talk show appearances two weeks ago, advising her not to waste her time "appeasing" national media.

The former governor and potential 2012 presidential candidate reiterated that she informs her potential endorsees that her public support can come with a price.

"When I talk to candidates about receiving an endorsement from me, I have to warn them, 'You know, it ain't always pretty. You're going to be under a lot more scrutiny, it seems like, your ideas, your character, your record, your intentions, if my name's attached,' " she said. "I'm thankful for those who are bold enough to say, 'Well, give me an endorsement anyway and then let me speak for myself and let my ideas stand on their own.' "