Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell has a robust evangelical outreach program, and she’s appealed to these voters in her Republican primary bid in part with her old-fashioned views about sex.
O’Donnell has said, for example, that masturbation is wrong, and that looking at pornography is equivalent to cheating on your spouse. She outlined her views in a November 1998 article titled “The Case for Chastity” for Cultural Dissident.
When a married person uses pornography, or is unfaithful, it compromises not just his (or her) purity, but also compromises the spouse’s purity. As a church, we need to teach a higher standard than abstinence. We need to preach a righteous lifestyle.
On an MTV show about abstinence (as summarized by Huffington Post), O’Donnell explained:
The reason that you don’t tell [people] that masturbation is the answer to AIDS and all these other problems that come with sex outside of marriage is because again it is not addressing the issue. … You’re just gonna create somebody who is, I was gonna say, toying with his sexuality. Pardon the pun.
In the 90s era discussion on MTV, O’Donnell said, “The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery. So you can’t masturbate without lust.”
O’Donnell, who is Catholic, has been an outspoken advocate for abstinence, and was a frequent guest on television and radio shows including Bill Maher’s “Politically Incorrect”. She also did marketing consulting for Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.”
She insists, however, that she had nothing to do with former campaign organization aide Yates Walker, who questioned her rival Rep. Mike Castle’s (R) sexuality in this video, and accused Team Castle of “mudslinging” in a statement on Friday. Walker is a former staffer from Doug Hoffman’s ill-fated campaign in New York’s 23rd Congressional district.
But, as WDEL Radio’s Allan Loudell wrote last week, O’Donnell repeated the innuendo “several times” when saying she doesn’t support what Walker said.
Loudell caught another dog whistle in the opening line of an O’Donnell press release:
Last night, Christine made the following statement to a crowd of over 200 supporters in response to the NEWS JOURNAL’s comments that Castle is gay:
A later version of the release rephrased:
Christine made the following statement to a crowd of over 200 supporters, in response to that day’s News Journal’s comment on the Liberty.com video release of Mike Castle.
O’Donnell’s campaign has also has attempted to suggest that Castle is pro-human cloning because he supports embryonic stem cell research.
Loudell sums up the concerns about O’Donnell among conservatives:
(Indeed, it IS telling that the state’s two conservative talk show hosts, our own Rick Jensen and the aforementioned Gaffney, dis Christine O’Donnell. That both Jensen and Gaffney regarded President George W. Bush as “too liberal” tells you volumes. In other words, while they’re ideologically much closer to O’Donnell than to Mike Castle, they’re deeply troubled by O’Donnell’s credibility and knowledge base.)
Even Erick Erickson has given up, citing the gay shenanigans.
She may be making headway in the polls, and O’Donnell said recently that her donations have surged. But there’s also this interview she did with the conservative Weekly Standard, suggesting that people “follow me home at night,” and that she has to check the bushes and cars around her townhouse.
Thanks to that article and fears about the seat’s competitiveness against Democratic candidate Chris Coons, a quiet whisper campaign about the perils of her candidacy has grown a bit louder, with some Delaware Republicans openly questioning her credentials and background. Republicans in D.C. are only willing to speak about their concerns privately, but have provided reporters with pages of unflattering details from O’Donnell’s public appearances.
Someone seems to have sent the same information to conservative talk show host Dan Gaffney, who pressed her repeatedly on the questions about her finances, including back taxes, debt from prior campaigns and questionable campaign finance tactics. When asked about her college debt, O’Donnell tells the press that she didn’t have “trust funds,” and notes voters are tired of “elitist” views.
Then there were some gaps in her description of her college education, outlined here by Politico.
Additional reporting by Jon Terbush and Clayton Ashley