POLITICS
10/21/2010 12:05 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Christine O'Donnell Stumped By Question About Democratic Senators, But Sends Hillary Clinton Some Love (VIDEO)

Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell found herself stumped on Wednesday night when she was asked to name a Democratic senator she would feel comfortable working with if elected to the chamber in November.

The latest verbal gaffe from the tea party-backed contender came when she squared off in a debate against Democratic opponent Chris Coons. Via ThinkProgress, a transcript of the exchange between O'Donnell and the forum's moderator:

MODERATOR: Give me a name, Christine, of someone in the U.S. Senate, across the aisle that you're comfortable working with.

O'DONNELL: [Pause] Well, she's not a senator any more, but I would definitely have to say Hillary Clinton. [...]

COONS: One of the real risks as we go forward, is that if we elect someone who literally cannot name a single currently serving senator in my party with whom she would work -

O'DONNELL: Senator Lieberman!

COONS: Someone who has no experience crossing the biparistan divide.

Lieberman was once a Democratic senator. But since 2006, when he was ousted in the Dem primary by the more liberal Ned Lamont, he has been an independent -- technically, he won reelection on the "Connecticut For Lieberman" party ticket -- who caucuses with the Democrats.

O'Donnell's choice of Hillary Clinton was the latest in a string of the GOP hopeful's references to the former first lady, who -- as O'Donnell alluded elsewhere in the transcript -- gave up her Senate seat last year to become the Obama administration's secretary of state.

During appearance on Fox News earlier this month, network host Greta Van Susteren asked O'Donnell if there is any Democratic figure she admires.

"Hillary Clinton!" O'Donnell replied. "I've gotten a lot of flak from Republicans for saying that I admire Hillary Clinton. I'm not saying I endorse all of her policies. But she's a strong woman operating in a man's world. She's the secretary -- I mean, she's -- she was a great senator. And I think she's holding her own and she's doing it well, and she's gotten a lot of criticism that critics wouldn't give to men. So I admire her for that."

In an interview with CNN the same week, O'Donnell suggested she's "seen many Hillary for President ads running" despite the lack of any evidence for a 2012 campaign by the onetime presidential candidate.

And the day before her come-from-nowhere win in Delaware's GOP Senate primary, O'Donnell said, "I do want to point out that we have broad based support, we've got a lot of Hillary Democrats working behind us -- with us -- because they're frustrated with what this administration is doing."

CNN's Jessica Yellin, also took notice of O'Donnell's many reference to the former first lady. When asked, O'Donnell told Yellin she "would love Hillary Clinton's endorsement."