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Delaware Senate candidates debate

Delaware Senate candidates debate

Trailing by double-digits in most polls, Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell went on the offensive, attacking her Democratic opponent as a career politician with Marxist views who would raise taxes and rubber-stamp Democratic policies.
Chris Coons, meanwhile, during a nationally televised debate Wednesday portrayed O'Donnell as an extremist more interested in clever sound bites than offering solutions to the problems confronting America.
O'Donnell, a favorite of the anti-establishment tea party movement, has drawn attention for her comments years ago that she dabbled in witchcraft as a teenager and opposed masturbation in a crusade against premarital sex. She frequently sought Wednesday to distance herself from her past views, softening her rhetoric on issues such as homosexuality and evolution.
"We're moving past that; were talking about the issues," O'Donnell said when asked by CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer why she had opened a recent television ad by declaring "I'm not a witch."
O'Donnell said the ad was meant to put to rest the controversy surrounding her past statements as a television commentator.
The Republican tried to shift the conversation to Coons' record of presiding over local property tax increases as a county executive.
Coons, meanwhile, took several digs at O'Donnell, saying she had misrepresented his record while offering confusing answers to questions that were posed to her.
"I don't have any classified information about China or its plans," he said, referring to O'Donnell's assertion in a 2006 debate that China is planning to take over the U.S. and that she had received classified intelligence while working with a humanitarian group.
Wednesday night's debate at the University of Delaware pitted Coons, who excelled as a debater in Amherst College, against O'Donnell, who has appeared as a conservative pundit for years on TV talks shows such as Bill Maher's "Politically Incorrect."
O'Donnell has been in the spotlight since she stunned the state by beating Mike Castle, a congressman and former governor, in the Republican primary last month. She has been relentlessly parodied by comedians and others for some of her past statements.


Updated : 2021-10-21 00:24 GMT+08:00