Delaware GOP Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell said Thursday she regrets making a campaign ad that addressed her past involvement with witchcraft, saying it backfired.
O'Donnell, a conservative activist who pulled a stunning upset of nine-term centrist Rep. Mike Castle in the state's Senate GOP primary, said that her intention was to "kill" the chatter among the political class about her past controversial statements.
Democrats have pounced on O'Donnell's past statements about sexuality and masturbation to paint her as an extreme candidate who is out of touch with Delaware voters.
During an appearance on Bill Maher's "Politically Incorrect" in the 1990s, O'Donnell said that she had "dabbled" in witchcraft at a younger age.
O'Donnell's ad released early this month sought to break down those perceptions. "I'm not a witch, I'm nothing you've heard. I'm you," she says in the 30-second spot.
But the ad continued talk of her past and was lampooned by "Saturday Night Live."
The Republican nominee trails Democrat Chris Coons, the New Castle County executive, by double digits in the race for Vice President Joe Biden's old Senate seat.