POLITICS
12/08/2010 06:52 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Christine O'Donnell: Pearl Harbor, Unemployment Benefits Extension Both 'Tragedies'

On a solemn December 7 marked with melancholy reminders of the 69th anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor and the tragic passing of Elizabeth Edwards, failed Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell deemed the potential reauthorization of unemployment benefits -- as reached in a deal between Obama and GOP leadership -- the day's third and final "tragedy."

"Tragedy comes in threes," O'Donnell said at a publicity event in Virginia. "Pearl Harbor, Elizabeth Edwards's passing and Barack Obama's announcement of extending the tax cuts, which is good, but also extending the unemployment benefits."

O'Donnell continued, explaining why Obama's most important prize from the negotiations could be likened to a Pearl Harbor-like catastrophe.

"The reason I say this is a tragedy is because his announcement of economic recovery was more of a potpourri of sound bytes. It's like he took a little bit of what each party wanted and put it together. It's not a solid plan constructed on sound economic principles."

Unsurprisingly, the comments didn't sit very well, and O'Donnell was shortly thereafter forced to walk them back.

The Hill reports on O'Donnell's about-face:

"That's not what I meant at all," said O'Donnell, who went on to explain that her opposition to the extension of unemployment benefits emanates from how the extension is paid for.

"If we're going to extend the jobless benefits we have got to cut spending programs and that's the flaw in his announcement," she said. "That's the tragedy."

It appears then that O'Donnell is approaching the matter much like Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who have both declared their intentions to oppose the bargain because they believe the cost of reauthorizing unemployment benefits for 13 months is too expensive. Instead, they have argued tenaciously for the extension of tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and ensuring a minimal estate tax, both which come with a higher price tag over the next two years.