‘Witchcraft’ remark haunts Christine O’Donnell over the weekend

by Adam Russett on September 20, 2010

Christine O'Donnell shocked the political status quo last week when she won the Republican nomination for Senate in Delaware. But it seems some might be on a "witch hunt" for the Tea Party candidate after video surfaced of O'Donnell claiming to have "dabbled in witchcraft" during her teens.

O'Donnell won the GOP nomination last Tuesday, defeating incumbent Mike Castle who had been appointed to the Senate after Vice President Joe Biden vacated the seat.

The win boosted O'Donnell into the national political spotlight with many comparing her to Tea Party darling and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. On Sunday, O'Donnell was scheduled to appear on both Face the Nation and Fox News Sunday, but cancelled both at the last minute – a move some said might be due to the fallout from a video released by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show Real Time with Bill Maher.

In the 1999 clip from Maher's ABC show Politically Incorrect, O'Donnell commented she had been around people involved in "witchcraft" when she was in high school.

"One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar, and I didn't know it. I mean, there's little blood there and stuff like that," she said in the clip. "We went to a movie and then had a little midnight picnic on a satanic altar."

O'Donnell Campaign spokeswoman Diana Banister told the Associated Press that the clip had nothing to do with the cancellations and that it was simply a case of a scheduling conflict, stating that the candidate's "priorities are back in Delaware." Likewise, O'Donnell laughed off the witchcraft remarks over the weekend after Republican strategist Karl Rove said she would have to explain her more than decade-old statement.

"I did comment that if I were a witch, Rove would be a supporter. I would have turned him into a 'Newt', because Gingrich says we win," O'Donnell wrote on Twitter Monday morning.

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