Christine O'Donnell: I'm not doing any more national TV interviews
By Felicia Sonmez
Delaware Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell (R) gave on Tuesday night one of her few national TV interviews since recording a stunning upset over Rep. Mike Castle (R) a week earlier. She used the opportunity to announce that it would be her last national TV interview.
National exposure is now "off the table, because that's not going to help me get votes," O'Donnell told Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity. "I'm not going to do any more national media because this is my focus: Delaware is my focus, and the local media is my focus."
She added that former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's advice, to focus on interviews with Delaware reporters and reaching Delaware voters, was "absolutely right."
O'Donnell made the national-media rounds the day after her win but has largely remained out of sight since then, emerging only for her first appearance on the national stage last Friday at the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit of social conservatives.
Her last-minute cancellation of two Sunday show appearances two days ago garnered her widespread criticism.
But while she has refused most interviews, O'Donnell has very much been a presence on the airwaves: She has been ridiculed on cable and late-night TV for telling Bill Maher in a 1990s TV appearance that she "dabbled in witchcraft."
On "Hannity" Tuesday night, O'Donnell took aim at the media for airing those clips, charging that "what they're trying to do is paint me as an extremist ... so people won't pay attention to my message."
Asked about her remarks about witchcraft, O'Donnell made light of the comments, chalking it up to "teenage rebellion."
"Some people dabble in drugs to rebel; that's how I rebelled," she said, laughing. "Who didn't do some questionable things in high school, and who doesn't regret the '80s, to some extent? I certainly do, and I most certainly regret bringing it up to Bill Maher."
Castle has refused to endorse O'Donnell in her general-election race against New Castle County Executive Chris Coons (D). O'Donnell said Tuesday that she spoke with Castle last week and that she's still "holding out for hope" for an endorsement.
"We spoke on Friday, and he congratulated me. It was a very friendly conversation. And I'm hoping to get his endorsement. It would mean a lot," she said.
O'Donnell has come under fire, both during the primary and afterward, for allegedly misusing campaign funds and being subject to an $11,000 tax lien.
She acknowledged Tuesday night that she "fell behind" in her mortgage but blamed a "computer error" for the tax lien, adding that there's "no truth" to an ad being run by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee that she didn't pay her taxes and was "financially completely irresponsible."
"My opponents don't care about the truth," she told Hannity.
| September 21, 2010; 10:21 PM ET
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