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Former RNC chair Ed Gillespie on O'Donnell's China takeover claim: Maybe there's something to it!

There was a hilarious moment on MSNBC just now that underscores just how uncomfortable Christine O'Donnell has made life for GOP leaders: Former RNC chair Ed Gillespie refused to disavow O'Donnell's claim that she possesses classified information on China's secret plot to take over America.

Not only that, but Gillespie actually flirted with endorsing her assertion that she has some sort of information about some sort of scheme, though he allowed that he couldn't be sure whether or not that info was classified. MSNBC's Chris Jansing pressed Gillespie as follows:

JANSING: She claims to have classified information about China, and says, "I wish I wasn't privy to some of the classified information I am privy to." Do you think Christine O'Donnell has classified information?

GILLESPIE: I don't know what information Christine O'Donnell has. There's a very legitimate concern about the extent to which China controls our debt and the impact that's going to have on our economy --

JANSING: That's not the question. The question is her making a statement that she has classified information.

GILLESPIE: Well Chris, you're asking me a question I can't answer. I don't know what information Christine O'Donnell has or doesn't have. I think if she says she has information that indicates that China has a plan to increase its influence over the U.S. economy, I'm not sure how many people could argue with that. Whether it's classified or not, I don't know.

Keep in mind that Gillespie is a major player in GOP circles. Not only was he chair of the Republican National Committee, but he also served as counselor to former president George W. Bush. Gillespie is also an important player in this year's elections, having helped Karl Rove set up American Crossroads, which is raising and spending millions of dollars to elect Republican candidates in November.

Yet he's now been reduced to playing along with the crackpot theories of a hard-right Tea Partyer who claims she obtained classifed information about China's secret plot to take over America from her work on nonprofits that sent missionaries to that country. Maybe someone should solicit an opinion on O'Donnell's access to secret high-level intelligence from the current RNC chair, too...

UPDATE, 12:55 p.m.: It turns out the current RNC chair is also refusing to disavow her claim! Also: Above post edited slightly from original.

By Greg Sargent  | October 6, 2010; 12:19 PM ET
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Honestly, I think every American can see how China is trying to dominate the world market which means taking potential customers that would otherwise possibly purchase our goods.

Are they directly trying to take us over?


Is that numbnuts O'Donnell privy to any classified info that would say otherwise?

I highly doubt it.

You could easily make the argument they are slowly destroying this country using commerce as a weapon rather than conventional warfare.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 6, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

History runs in cycles. Whereas the Brits and French were great colonial powers in the 19th century and then waned, with the mantle being picked up by the US in the 20th Century. The 21st century's driving economic force is Asia, with China and India leading the way. It's a demonstrated fact, with the GOP led by guys like Gillespie and Rove, and aided by the Roberts wing of the Supreme Court and the US Chamber of Commerce, Asia's hegemony is just being made easier. Thanks for selling us down the river boys. There is a word for people like this and it starts with "T".

Posted by: filmnoia | October 6, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

@mike: "You could easily make the argument they are slowly destroying this country using commerce as a weapon"

China! You have destroyed me with your $29 dollar DVD player. Argh!

O'Donnell got secret information when she was doing missionary work in China. From a mysterious figure named "Mr. Roboto".

Secret, secret. I've got a secret!

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 6, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Apparently China plans on taking us over by poisoning our meatball supply!

Posted by: PaciolisRevenge | October 6, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

It is plain what O'Donnell is trying to do by stating it the way she did: stoke fear. Anyone who is trying to finesse it is either carrying her water or a dipsh*t.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | October 6, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

O'Donnell got secret information when she was doing missionary work in China. From a mysterious figure named "Mr. Roboto".

Secret, secret. I've got a secret!

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 6, 2010 12:40 PM |

She doesn't belive in The Missionary Position. Of course she also says now that she is not a witch, so she could not have used her satanic powers to access China's top secrets.

I do not understand why her handlers cut an ad having her deny that she is a witch. Didn't we all know that already, and people were just making fun of her silly remarks on the Bill Maher show?

I am more and more inclined to believe that her Bill Maher appearances were all staged bits, somewhat scripted by the Maher staff.

The most recent video clip released, where she said that she would have become a Hari Krishna, except that she was not willing to give up meat, because being Italian, she loved meat balls, strikes me as just a bit of fictional improvisation, uttered for it's comedic shock value.

Posted by: Liam-still | October 6, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Christine may be on to something here. Perhaps she has information that the Chamber of Commerce is receiving money from China to help Reps. re-take the country. China knows that the COC/Republicans love to outsource Americans jobs and help foreign companies. Great work Christine! We long suspected that the COC was just a Republican money laundering outfit.

Posted by: clintt5 | October 6, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Maybe she can see China from Delaware?

Posted by: Liam-still | October 6, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Classified information = Ouija board maybe?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | October 6, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Donald Trump was on the other day - taking about the trade relationship with China.

Our agreements with China should be revised to produce one thing that was orginally thought to be the objective of the original agreements: balanced trade.

One side or the other should not be able to build up the bonds like China has.


Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 6, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

@Liam-still: "She doesn't belive in The Missionary Position."

I thought she believed especially in the Missionary Position, as long as it was between married missionaries.

"I do not understand why her handlers cut an ad having her deny that she is a witch."

I do. "You think Christine is crazy? Her whacky opposition is calling her a witch. This poor, young, attractive woman. They're so mean to her! And you know what witch sounds like, right? Well, that's what they're calling her. Crazy *itch. Just the same. Vote O'Donnell! She's a victim!"

"strikes me as just a bit of fictional improvisation, uttered for it's comedic shock value."

When Joaquin Phoenix shows up to rap at a fund raiser, we'll all know it's actually just a new level of meta-performance art. /snark

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | October 6, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

All, new post from Adam Serwer on Sharron Angle's flirtation with Willie Horton tactics:

Posted by: Greg Sargent | October 6, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Maybe she got her information by looking into a magic hat and reading it off golden tablets only she could see?

Nah, that is silly. It is far more likely that the evil space alien Xenu told her 12 trillion years ago.

Posted by: PaciolisRevenge | October 6, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Christine continues to amaze me. Either she is a compulsive liar, or she is incredibly naive.

I'm betting that on the "I have classified information about China that I just fell into" is naivete. I think she is a very young soul, and thinks that people who whisper their latest conspiracy theory into your ear, could just be secret agents.

She probably thinks that lottery tickets are investments as well. And that there just could be something to Area 51, too.

Posted by: 12BarBlues | October 6, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse


You brought up CAMPAIGN FINANCE this morning - and yesterday.

At one point you allude to the idea that both parties should agree to limitations - I agree with that. I also support the idea that legislation in so many areas has been biased in favor of special interests - and it is extremely important for the public interest to remove that bias by getting campaign finance rules in place - a radical approach.

Without starting a discussion immediately about the various ideas out there - it should be recognized that an EVEN-HANDED approach is necessary.

Too many times over the last few decades, one side or the other has seen an advantage in opening up one loophole or the other - that is NOT the proper motivation in this field - because one advantage or the other leads almost immediately to the other side seeking an advantage.

PLEASE research the numbers a bit - take a look at Obama's 2008 campaign. The ONE part of the Campaign Finance system that was working was the Presidential fund - with each side agreeing to limitations for decades.

Obama pulled OUT of that system after saying he would commit himself to those limitations.

This caught McCain off-guard - who could have been raising unlimited money since the previous winter -

THE NUMBERS - Obama went from a limitation around $100 Million to $700 MILLION

There were many, many questions surrounding the credit card contributions going into Obama - there was software available to make sure FOREIGN CONTRIBUTIONS were not taken in - however there were allegations that these software controls were turned OFF.

There were also concerns about the credit cards matching up multiple donations for the Overall Individual Contribution Limits.

MY POINT - if Obama was off spending $700 Million in 2008, expect the Republicans to try to match that level of spending next time.

At this point, it appears that the Republicans are no where near that level of contributions - however the bar has been set high.

Obama is the one who left the Campaign Finance System - and took a ridiculous money advantage.

From Oct 1 to Oct 15, Obama spent $105 Million - this allowed Obama to pick up extra seats in Congress and in the Senate as well - as extra ads were placed in key areas.

The liberals think they got a massive mandate - in reality all they did was raise more money for ads - if the Republicans had even-money, these majorities would not be CLOSE to where they are now, and Obama would have never had 60 votes in the Senate.

Posted by: SaveTheRainforest | October 6, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I really do enjoy watching GOP officials squirming as they try to defend the crazy antics of their loony candidates.

Let's see now -- she's not a witch, her family is embroiled in their own little Bozo-gate, and she wishes with all her heart that she wasn't privy to so much classified information.

This is the current state of the Republican party. They have alot more to worry about than the Dems.

Posted by: elscott | October 6, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

The Chinese Fifth Column is being led by Hello Kitty.

Posted by: Observer691 | October 6, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

It's not impossible that she received information from within China that was subsequently classified:

Posted by: clawrence12 | October 6, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

ChickaBOOMer| Rachel Maddow: Plum Wrong

Posted by: StewartIII | October 7, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

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