September 20th, 2010
09:02 AM ET

Mike Pence on GOP message, O'Donnell, 'witchcraft' remark

The Republican field for 2012 is already crowded. And this morning, there's another name to consider: Indiana Rep. Mike Pence.

He won a presidential straw poll at the values voter summit this weekend - a meeting that raised some questions about the marriage of the Tea Party and traditional Christian conservatives. But what is on everyone's mind this morning is Christine O’Donnell.

Pence spoke to John Roberts and Candy Crowley on CNN's "American Morning" about those pressing GOP issues.

Crowley: Congressman, a question about Christine O’Donnell and all, the Republican choice for Senate out of Delaware. I'm sure you know that a new clip has come to the forefront showing her saying, well, she dabbled in witchcraft during high school. She's kind of pushed back and said, listen, who of us didn't hang around with questionable people in high school? But there have been other things about student loans and how she makes a living. Do you have any misgivings about O'Donnell as a candidate?

Pence: Oh, gosh. Look, you know, it's really something when Bill Maher becomes the vanguard of religion in America, isn't it? Welcome to the silly season. Look, you know, you ask me about last weekend and, you know, I don't think it was about me.

I don't think Delaware's about Christine O'Donnell. I don't think Alaska's about Joe Miller as much as the message. And I know there'll be this nitpicking and attempts to take things out of context. Certainly she has some explaining to do about that to her voters in Delaware.

But at the end of the day, what's bringing people out and creating a momentum for what could be real change in America is that the American people are tired of the borrowing, the spending, the bailouts and the takeovers, and they're looking for men and women that are willing to stand up and be counted and take on the establishment.

Roberts: Congressman, you said that Bill Maher is now the vanguard in the silly season. Obviously, he's having fun with this, he's a comedian. But other establishment Republicans have rung in on this, too. Karl Rove yesterday was very critical of Christine O'Donnell, saying she's talked about a lot of "nutty things," calling her background "checkered."

And there are serious questions raised about Miss O'Donnell's background, character, statements and previous actions. You said she needs to answer to the voters of Delaware. But do you have any questions? Or are you fully comfortable with everything you know about her?

Pence: Well, look, I don't vote in Delaware. Christine O’Donnell, I think -

Roberts: But at some point, you might have to work with her.

Pence: John, I think she was right yesterday to focus on communicating with her voters in Delaware about what she said on that. And, you know, I think over - again, I think we're in the silly season here. I think we're going to continue to see efforts - whether it's in Florida or in Alaska or in Nevada or in Delaware, or here in Michigan - where we got people like Tim Walberg, a strong conservative fighting to return to Congress from Battle Creek.

Look, you're going to see an effort, I think, by the left in this country to change the subject, to personalities away from the subject of the message, which is we've got to get this economy moving again. We've got to get spending under control, and that will require sending people to Washington, D.C., that have the courage to stand up to the status quo and to put our fiscal house in order.

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soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Nova

    WOW! The tea party at there rallies held posters of President Obama as a witchdoctor, and here it is they have there own real witch O'donell! Where were her poster on satans alter at the values voter summit? Republican hipocrosy i guess.

    September 20, 2010 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • mk

      pleeeeze.... show me any adolescent who isn't counter culture to some point. they still grow to be productive adults.

      you think barry boy was perfect at 15 yrs old?????

      September 20, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Oh yes, the mysterious witchdoctor sign that no one has seen.

      September 20, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. MIKE

    Don't any of these idiots remember who brought our country to the brink of financial ruin 18 months ago with 8 years of Bush, the associated unregulated lending and tax breaks AND THE FIRST 700 BILLION DOLLAR BAILOUT.. WAKE UP.
    Report Reply
    0 replies · active less than 1 minute ago

    September 20, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      You mean the Democratic Congress in his second term?

      September 20, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. chillipepper

    It's the witch vs the Marxist now. hahahaha I

    September 20, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Knight

      I doubt you even know the true definition of a Marxist.

      September 20, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. fideauxdon

    The GOP is so devoid of thinkers and doers that they get excited about Mike Pence. Just consider that he was the choice for President of Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council, probably the most intolerant, closed-minded right-wing religious group in the GOP? Mike Pence has the temerity to criticize Bill Maher for his criticism of Christine O'Donnell, the latest vacuous wingnut supported by the Tea Partiers? If you add up the collective IQs of Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, and O'Reilly, Bill Maher would have a higher score and better, more humane ideas for how this formerly great Nation should be governed.

    September 20, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  5. Gain of Salt

    This is too funny. Read Pence's statements again. He says nothing. To many empty souls and heads just trying to get or stay elected. The tea partiers are just the latest bunch of know-nothings that promise to bring America back to its roots. Instead of defining a rational future, they long for the good old days. Shows no intellectual curiousity, originality, or guts. Americans thought they getting that with Obama, but now we're not sure.

    September 20, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  6. RobRoy

    This must be a leap year or something. Between Pale-in and Oh-donald American politics are being set back to the dark ages. God I can't even watch TV anymore it turns my stomach so much. To see these two smiling morons together makes my stomach turn. One believes in WITCH Craft and the other believes God made the Iraq war. This is totally stupid and insane and shows how shallow the American public is when it comes to leaders. Give these housewives something to do while America has a chance.

    September 20, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  7. John Kaufman, Oceanside, CA

    If the Tea Party was smart, which I'm not sure they are, this party would put togther a economic platform as to how to begin with an economic plan to get us out of this rescession, steps to reduce govt spending, increase GNP revenues in conjunction with businesses as to what this country produces best and compete with the world, and work on the debt situation, in reductions. It would be a sound plan with small steps to start and build on small successes not failures one step at a time. Yes, it would take a lot of time, but look how long this mess has been going on with both Bush & now Obama both progressives and both terrible.

    September 20, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  8. Scott

    Do I recall that President Obama has admitted to drug use back in high school? If people are going to get all worked up over what someone did over 20 years ago in high school then they need to be consistent and get all worked up over what everyone did over 20 years ago in high school. I know many people who did things some would consider out-of-the-mainstream in high school who turned out to be some of the smartest and most successful people. If people care about this little "witchcraft thing", think of it this way, if O'Donnell did things to make magic power to turn a price into a frog, Obama took what was left of the powder she made and snorted it to get high. Which showed less moral character for their choices?

    September 20, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • gcole

      Obama didn't do coke, that was Bush. O’Donnell has more issues than this. In 2007, on O’Reilly, she reported that scientist have put fully functioning human brains in mice.

      September 20, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Hanna

    The Tea Party is just a bunch of loud mouth nut-nuts, please turn the cameras off of them and stick a sock in their mouths

    September 20, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • peterg

      Yeah. Demanding that the federal gov't produce a balanced budget is a crazy idea. How dare they.

      September 20, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. chris87654

    Republicans are really in trouble. All Pence did was evade the questions and told us you should only judge a candidate by what they tell the voters (ie, there's no need to consider personal life, past behaviour, etc – this is not like O'Donnell smoked a joint in high school [a lot of smart, reasonable people have done that] – the woman seems to have some serious issues). I'm waiting for her to do some real interviews (not filtered questions) – she'll make Palin look like a cerebral wizard and give SNL some new material.

    September 20, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  11. CJM

    Wow! How can Rep. Pence say so many words, but not really say a thing?

    September 20, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • chris87654

      Like Palin with Couric... maybe figure if they say enough, the question will just go away. I like reporters who stick to their questions.

      September 20, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  12. chris87654

    Scott: "Do I recall that President Obama has admitted to drug use back in high school?"

    At least Obama shows signs of intelligence, can form coherent sentences, etc – and this (even if) he smoked pot/did "drugs" in high school. O'Donnell and Palin are goofier than people I know whose brains are a bit tweeked from maybe doing too much LSD in the old days (but they are still engineering wizards) – so if not drugs, what is it that makes some people so goofy? Whether or not they did/didn't do drugs, they're still not fit to hold public office.

    September 20, 2010 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      First, I would dispute that Obama puts together coherent sentences. He delivers a nice teleprompter speech but if you ever look at the transcripts of his comments where he isn't on a teleprompter, like at a town-hall style meeting, you will find he gives really long-winded answers that don't directly answer the question and what really bugs me is his speeches are filled with "umm, you know" and "wel, I mean, you know"..Sounds like a of pro athletes giving interviews.

      Second, this isn't about the drug issue specifically. It is about the fact that all kinds of people did all kinds of things that their less than well-thought-out teenage minds didn't put a lot of thought into at the time. If I can forgive a guy for doing drugs in high school (although I think Obama was in College and a bit older) then I can forgive someone who had some odd interest in black-magic when they were 17 years old. It is a non-issue. Now, she might still be goofy. I'm not from Delaware and haven't followed it closely yet but what I want to know is what do they think today, what is their record of achievement, what ideas do they have and how can they back them up.

      We were told a stimulus package would keep unemployment below 8 percent but the truth didn't back that up and it failed. We were told the new health care law would lower costs but new projects prove it won't. We were told fighting in Irag for US troops was over but it really isn't. We were told Gitmo would be closed in a year but it isn't. We were told we would consider all methods to get us to be more energy independent but we haven't.

      My point is simply that if people come in and promise things and they can't back it up or deliver it, then they are either ineffective, unreliable, dishonest. Whichever the case, they have proven that they don't belong in leadership positions and they have to be replaced. I think that has proven to be the case with 80% of Congress. The polls back that up given their approval ratings. These long-standing people there have simply got to go. If these new people take office and 4-6 years from now we don't see a better education system, less debt, lower deficits, improved heath care system, stronger defense systems, improved job market, less poverty...then they need to get swept out too. For too long we just keep putting them back in based on their promises that this time they think they really have the votes and seniority to get it done...never happens...

      September 20, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. John

    I'm from Indiana and i would not vote for Mike Pence,he is nothing but a blow hard,when his the REPUBLICAN PARTY get someone people could vote for.

    September 20, 2010 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • chris87654

      These are not Reagan's Republicans. Voting day is sad when you have to vote for the lesser cornball instead of for a good candidate.

      William McKenzie wrote in "Run, Sarah, Run" [before O'Donnell won]
      "Unless Barack Obama totally blows the next two years, she [Palin] would get waxed in a general election. Then she would be out of the way and the GOP can go about building a strong, broad coalition, the kind that can lead to a governing coalition."
      and
      "To do that [win a general election], Republicans have to do better among Latino voters, win over center/right suburbanites, galvanize deficit hawks, rally younger, moderate evangelicals and tone down the anger. Remember, Ronald Reagan built a big coalition and he did so with a sunny disposition, not a frown."

      and to win over the other groups, the Republicans will alienate the Palinian rightwingnuts as has been seen when a Republican moves from the extreme right.

      September 20, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Floria sigmundi

    These people are crazy whichcraft is for people with nothing better to do just a little hocus pocus. You can't infringe on someone else because you say a magic spell
    It's psychological you believe what you hear

    Check out this video on YouTube

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUJ4bL6O3uw&w=640&h=360]

    September 20, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Michael

    Can you imagine if Michelle Obama said she dabbled in witchcraft in her youth? Do you think the right would be so forgiving? Republican hypocrisy at it's finest!

    September 20, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
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