Christine O'Donnell: Romney Has 'Been Consistent Since He Changed His Mind,' Gingrich 'Unreliable'
Former Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell took to CNN Wednesday morning to explain her recent decision to endorse Mitt Romney. In doing so, she managed to give him a backhanded compliment underscoring one of the primary concerns that Republicans have had with the former Massachusetts governor: his seemingly erratic positions on key conservative issues.
"That's one of the things that I like about him -- because he's been consistent since he changed his mind," O'Donnell said in response to a question about continued criticism of Romney's supposed flip-flopping. "I think that he's humble enough to say 'I don't always have the right answers.' And he's open to other viewpoints and if it doesn't betray his core convictions he'll make the necessary changes."
The Delaware Republican also got in a jab at current GOP primary frontrunner Newt Gingrich, advising Tea Party members to be wary of someone she painted as the ideal establishment candidate.
"Newt Gingrich has been inconsistent and unreliable, all the way down from cozying up on a couch with Nancy Pelosi to getting behind relentlessly Dede Scozzafava in New York 23," she said. "If you want to get behind Michele Bachmann, you want get behind Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, instead of Romney, ok, I can understand that. But not Newt Gingrich."
O'Donnell went on to clarify that her endorsement was personal and not on behalf of the Tea Party or any other political group, but said that she hoped her support for Romney might encourage Tea Party activists to give him a "second look."
On Tuesday, O'Donnell outlined her decision to enter Romney's corner:
"For me, this endorsement comes down to trust," said O'Donnell in a statement. "I am endorsing Governor Romney because I trust him to do the right thing. He has the strength of conviction to do the right thing regardless of opposition. America needs a president who is not a Washington Insider. America needs a president who hasn't been playing the game for the last three decades. America needs a president who can turn our economy around, put Americans back to work, and will lead with stability, integrity and the values that we hold dear. I am confident Mitt Romney will be that president."
Romney responded, touting his latest endorsement.
"Christine has been a leader in the conservative movement for many years," Romney said in a statement. "Christine recognizes that excessive government threatens us now and threatens future generations, and I am pleased to have her on my team."Below, a look back on Christine O'Donnell's time in the spotlight:
'Evolution Is A Myth. Why Aren't Monkeys Still Evolving Into Humans?'
HuffPost's Nicholas Graham <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/25/christine-odonnell-evolution-monkeys_n_739131.html" target="_hplink">reports</a>: <blockquote>Bill Maher has so far <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/18/odonnell-witchcraft-politically-incorrect_n_722035.html" target="_hplink">kept his promise to air an embarrassing clip</a> of Tea Party favorite and Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell every week that she refuses to be a guest on his HBO show, "Real Time." Last night Maher showed a video from an appearance she made in 1998 on his old program "Politically Incorrect" in which <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/2010/09/24/odonnell-evolution-maher/" target="_hplink">she calls evolution "a myth"</a> and backs up her claim with the question: if evolution is real, "why aren't monkeys still evolving into humans?" This latest uncovered statement comes on the heels of a clip unearthed from an old "Scarborough Country" episode in which <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/24/christine-odonnell-will-s_n_738276.html" target="_hplink">she insists that we stop the whole nation from having sex.</a> Since she was a guest on Maher's previous show 22 times, it's unlikely that the steady stream of past statements coming to light will stop any time soon. For more on Christine O'Donnell's controversial statements and positions, click here and here.</blockquote>
Says She'll Stop The Whole Country FROM HAVING SEX
HuffPost's Jason Linkins <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/24/christine-odonnell-will-s_n_738276.html" target="_hplink">reports</a>: Sweet sassy molassey! People are still finding clips of GOP Delaware Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell saying strange things on the teevee? Apparently, Christine O'Donnell was, all this time, one of the most televised figures in politics. Additionally, her desire to stop the unmarried masses from making sweet, sweet love to one another was astoundingly ambitious. From Greg Sargent, <a href="http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/09/video_of_christine_odonnell_im.html" target="_hplink">here's a clip of O'Donnell enthusiastically vowing to keep America from having sex. </a> It all went down on a 2003 episode of "Scarborough Country," which was "Morning Joe" before Mika and the Starbucks sponsorship, when the dude who hosted "The Grind" on MTV would just show up wearing a T-shirt and just start straight up opining at Joe Scarborough! It was a wild, more unrestrained time in American life, and Christine O'Donnell had a dream of throwing a wet towel on the whole thing: <blockquote>NIES: I tell them to be careful. You have to wear a condom. You have to protect yourself when you're going to have sex, because they're having it anyway...There's nothing that you or me can do about it. O'DONNELL: The sad reality is -- yes, there is something you can do about it. And the sad reality, to tell them slap on a condom is not -- NIES: You're going to stop the whole country from having sex? O'DONNELL: Yeah. Yeah! NIES: You're living on a prayer if you think that's going to happen. O'DONNELL: That's not true. I'm a young woman in my thirties and I remain chaste.</blockquote> So there you have it! If you've been having trouble getting laid, maybe Christine O'Donnell is the one keeping it from happening.
'I Dabbled Into Witchcraft'
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/18/odonnell-witchcraft-politically-incorrect_n_722035.html" target="_hplink">Flashback to 1999</a> and you'll find this clip of O'Donnell unearthed by Bill Mahr, whose show the Senate hopeful made the following remarks: <blockquote>I dabbled into witchcraft. I hung around people who were doing these things. I'm not making this stuff up. I know what they told me they do. One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar and I didn't know it. I mean, there was a little blood there and stuff like that. We went to a movie and then had a little picnic on a satanic altar.</blockquote> (<a href="http://thinkprogress.org/2010/09/18/christine-odonnell-witchcraft/" target="_hplink">via Think Progress</a>)
Slams Welfare, Pop Culture: You Can Legislate Morality
HuffPost's Sam Stein <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/16/christine-odonnell-slams-_n_719201.html" target="_hplink">reports</a>: <blockquote>Dig a little deeper into her past record, however, and one gets the sense that O'Donnell's legislative outlook is basically scripted by her social and religious views. In a <a href="http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/77480-1" target="_hplink">C-SPAN appearance </a>the Huffington Post unearthed from December 1996, the Delaware Republican said it was a "misconception that you, quote unquote, can't legislate morality." "The reality of that statement is that if you don't legislate one morality then you are legislating somebody else's morality," she said. "So you can't get around legislating morality." To her point, she offered a lengthy denunciation of the government's implementation of welfare and food stamps, blaming the two programs for fostering laziness and encouraging drug use. "I think that drug use is out of control here and there is something called tough love and what has happened with the liberal welfare program implemented in the last decade is they have cultivated an attitude of dependency," O'Donnell said. "The reality is, especially in my own city here in D.C., is that a lot of those people who do deal drugs are using federal money that they get from welfare programs. We need to implement a tough love program. "We know that people will abuse the system. They will find a recovery program that can enable them to continue in their drug use as long as they get federal funding. We see the same kind of abuse with food stamps... people are abusing our compassion." More broadly, she condemned lawmakers for fostering a pop culture that encouraged sexual harassment. "We sit there and scratch our heads and wonder why sexual harassment is out of control in this country. It is because we are setting a precedent through our pop culture, through the songs that penetrate the airwaves and the sitcoms that are on television that are just saturated with sexual themes, that respect no boundaries," she said. "We need to just do a U-Haul of our pop culture. I think legislators, Hollywood film producers all need to reevaluate why they are doing what they are doing... We end up feeding a demon, feeding a monster and we are feeding this appetite so much that our generation is going to self-destruct quite honestly." It's far from rare for a lawmaker to bring his or her religious or cultural convictions into politics. O'Donnell's theories on Hollywood and welfare, moreover, are echoed by others within the conservative movement. But the totality of her remarks -- coupled with her seeming skepticism of the need for a filter -- make it clear that she would find herself firmly on the periphery of the GOP tent should she end up in the Senate.</blockquote>
On Evolution: 'Just As Much, If Not More' Proof Of Creationism
Dan Amira of the <em>New York Magazine</em> <a href="http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2010/09/the_gops_delaware_senate_nomin.html" target="_hplink">snags</a> this tidbit of a 1996 CNN debate over evolution between O'Donnell, then spokeswoman for the Concerned Women of America, and Michael McKinney, a University of Tennessee professor of evolutionary biology. In this passage, O'Donnell claims that evolution has failed tests that would elevate it past the standing of a "theory": <blockquote>CHRISTINE O'DONNELL, Concerned Women for America: Well, as the senator from Tennessee mentioned, evolution is a theory and it's exactly that. There is not enough evidence, consistent evidence to make it as fact, and I say that because for theory to become a fact, it needs to consistently have the same results after it goes through a series of tests. The tests that they put -- that they use to support evolution do not have consistent results. Now too many people are blindly accepting evolution as fact. But when you get down to the hard evidence, it's merely a theory. But creation --</blockquote> She later goes on to give her take on creationism: CHRISTINE O'DONNELL: Well, creationism, in essence, is believing that the world began as the Bible in Genesis says, that God created the Earth in six days, six 24-hour periods. And there is just as much, if not more, evidence supporting that.
AIDS Prevention Gets Too Much Money
In this 1997 CSPAN video <a href="http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/09/christine_odonnell_aids_gets_too_much_govt_money_condoms_dont_work_video.php" target="_hplink">dug up</a> by <em>Talking Points Memo</em>, O'Donnell argued that the federal government was spending way too much money on AIDS prevention programs, initiatives that she seemed to claim were perpetuating the sort of behavior that led to the disease.
Suggested Obama Is 'Anti-American'
HuffPost's Sam Stein <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/15/christine-odonnell-in-200_n_717740.html" target="_hplink">reports</a> on the "treasure trove" of O'Donnell clips that reporters are currently sifting through. <a href="http://politicalcorrection.org/blog/201009150003" target="_hplink">Political Correction</a> picked one out earlier today of the newly-minted Senate candidate calling then-candidate Barack Obama "un-American" back in 2008. Among the more colorful segments unearthed is an appearance she did on Fox News during the presidential campaign, in which she accused then candidate Barack Obama of being anti-American; not because of theories that he was not a natural-born citizen or sympathized with the Muslim world, but because he refused to insist that English be deemed the official language of the United States.
God Doesn't Pay Medical Bills
<a href="http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=095_1283476019" target="_hplink">Live Leak: </a> <blockquote>"God may choose to heal someone from cancer, yet that person still has a great deal of medical bills. The outstanding bills do not determine whether or not the patient has been healed by God."</blockquote>
The Fall Of Our Nation, The Cause Of School Violence
During an <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/10/09/1998-clip-of-christine-odonnell-on-politically-incorrect/62985/" target="_hplink">appearance</a> on "Politically Incorrect" with Bill Maher in 1998, Christine O'Donnell debated the ongoing Clinton-Lewinsky scandal with actors Martin Mull, Jasmine Guy, and comedian Eddie Izzard. While the other guests appeared to be largely sympathetic toward Clinton -- Izzard repeatedly arguing that Americans, including the President, should be more open with their sexual escapades for the purpose of desensitizing a nation that was clearly unable to handle the idea of a blue dress with bodily fluids on it without getting hysterical -- O'Donnell spoke in much more absolute terms about the potential consequences of allowing President Clinton to get off the hook without a big deal being made. "If we as a nation tolerate sin, generations to come will reap the effects of that," O'Donnell said. "For example, we took the Bible and prayer out of public schools, now we're having weekly shootings practically." After the other guests appeared unreceptive to that hypothesis, O'Donnell then tried to provide an example of the price Americans were paying for earlier collapses of morals in their society: "We had the 60s sexual revolution," O'Donnell said. "Now people are dying of AIDS"
Criticized Masturbation On MTV's 'Sex In The 90s'
HuffPost's Sam Stein <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/02/christine-odonnell-delawa_n_703829.html" target="_hplink">reported</a> earlier this month: <blockquote>Long before she became the latest fascination of the political press and the cause-of-the-moment of the Tea Party movement, Christine O'Donnell (R-D.E.) was appearing on news outlets large and small extolling the sins of not just sex but masturbation. The Delaware Republican, who [defeated] Rep. Mike Castle in the state's Senate primary and has earned the financial backing of a portion of the Tea Party movement, made an appearance in the MTV series "Sex In The 90s." Entitled "The Safest Sex Of All," the episode was ostensibly geared towards understanding the importance of abstinence. But O'Donnell's guidance went a bit further. Masturbation, she argued, is not a moral substitute for sex. "The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery. So you can't masturbate without lust." "The reason that you don't tell [people] that masturbation is the answer to AIDS and all these other problems that come with sex outside of marriage is because again it is not addressing the issue," she extrapolated. "You're just gonna create somebody who is, I was gonna say, toying with his sexuality. Pardon the pun."</blockquote>
Suggested She Wouldn't Lie To Hitler To Save Jews
As HuffPost's Jason Linkins <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/15/flashback-gop-senate-cand_n_717936.html" target="_hplink">reported</a> earlier, Christine O'Donnell appears to think that lying is such a moral affront to God that she wouldn't even do it to save the life of a hypothetical Jew from Hitler. O'Donnell had the following exchange with Eddie Izzard during a 1998 appearance on Bill Maher's "Politically Incorrect," <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/10/09/1998-clip-of-christine-odonnell-on-politically-incorrect/62985/" target="_hplink">unearthed</a> by the <em>Atlantic</em>'s Joshua Green. <blockquote>O'DONNELL: A lie, whether it be a lie or an exaggeration, is disrespect to whoever you're exaggerating or lying to, because it's not respecting reality. MAHER: Quite the opposite, it can be respect. IZZARD: What if someone comes to you in the middle of the Second World War and says, 'do you have any Jewish people in your house?' and you do have them. That would be a lie. That would be disrespectful to Hitler. O'DONNELL: I believe if I were in that situation, God would provide a way to do the right thing righteously. I believe that! MAHER: God is not there. Hitler's there and you're there. O'DONNELL: You never have to practice deception. God always provides a way out.</blockquote>