Here’s another wonderful gem from Christine O’Donnell’s past as a frequent guest on TV shows. Back in 1996, when then-Speaker Newt Gingrich’s finances were being investigated, O’Donnell complained that people were on a witch hunt to find anything to get Gingrich, instead of paying attention to serious ethics scandals — like putting Bill Clinton on trial for the supposed murder of Deputy White House Counsel Vince Foster.
Back in the 1990s, a favorite right-wing conspiracy theory was the accusation that the Clintons had arranged the murder of Foster, a former law partner of Hillary Clinton, in the midst of the Whitewater investigations. Multiple investigations, including the work of Clinton-hunting independent counsel Kenneth Starr, have all concluded that Foster committed suicide. However, O’Donnell was squarely in the conspiracy camp back then.
During an appearance on C-Span — the same interview previously highlighted by the Huffington Post, in which O’Donnell discussed the need to crack down on lewd pop culture — O’Donnell complained about the ethics investigations of Gingrich.
“I think it’s very interesting that President Clinton has come on a lot more charges and a lot more serious charges than what Newt Gingrich is being charged on, yet we’re not making as big of an issue, we’re not forcing that he go to trial,” said O’Donnell. “We’re not giving people like Paula Jones a fair trial, we’re not giving the case of Vincent Foster a fair trial — when there is a lot more empirical evidence that Clinton is involved in wrongdoing.”
After a further exchange with her sparring partner, Jamal Harrison Bryant of the NAACP, O’Donnell continued to explain the issue.
“Well, I think people are out on a witch hunt for Newt Gingrich,” said O’Donnell. “They’re just seeking anything to bring against him, because if you look at the charges, failing to seek legal advice on his tax exempt status. By no means am I dismissing the charge, but when you look in comparison, the beast of Whitewater that Bill Clinton is involved in and the little attention that that is getting, and the little serious investigation that that is getting.
“Bill Clinton is charged of — for much more serious accounts of fraud than a mistake that Newt Gingrich got in. If you examine almost anybody’s tax records you can find something to charge them on. I hate to admit, but taxes are very complicated, so you can find something to bring almost anybody.
“And then there’s also the issue of murder with Vincent Foster. That’s a much more serious charge than failing to seek legal advice, and yet we’re all just blowing that off, and everybody’s trying to focus on Newt Gingrich like a witch hunt, to bring him to the stake and burn him, because they don’t like the policy that he’s behind. And unfortunately, the policy that he reps works, so if you can’t attack the policy, they’re trying to attack the man behind it.”
Check out the video, beginning at the 50:35 mark:
The TPM Poll Average gives Democratic nominee Chris Coons a lead of 52.2%-38.8%.
Special thanks to TPM intern Howard Polikoff for spotting this.