O'Donnell: Barack Obama Is "Anti-American"

September 15, 2010 10:57 am ET — Matt Finkelstein

Last night, Tea Party-backed senatorial candidate Christine O'Donnell shook the political world by defeating Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) in the Delaware Republican primary. GOP officials have described O'Donnell as a "perennial candidate" who's "not viable" for election, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) has reportedly decided not to support her in a race that was previously considered a likely pick-up for the party. 

In 2008, O'Donnell — then a relatively unknown Republican "strategist" — appeared on Fox News to discuss the primary race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.  During the interview, O'Donnell provided a prime example of her controversial views.  Asked which candidate would be an easier opponent for Republicans, O'Donnell said she preferred Obama because "he is so liberal that he's anti-American." Watch: 


MacCALLUM: Now, I would point out you didn't see a whole lot of editorial pages -- conservative editorial pages -- really paying too much attention to Barack Obama until recently. So let me get Christine O'Donnell's thoughts on this. Who do Republicans want to run against? Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton?

O'DONNELL: I would prefer Barack Obama because he is so liberal, that he's anti-American. Let me tell you a couple of things --

FLEMING: Anti-American?

O'DONNELL: Let me explain why. He's beating the change drum, but let's look at the change. He did not vote for English as the official language. What does that say? Then you hear them say, "I'm for" --

FLEMING: What are you talking about? Are you talking about the immigration debate? Because --

O'DONNELL: No, I'm --

FLEMING: -- if you're talking about that, there was a lot in there.

O'DONNELL: His voting record. His voting record. And then they sit there and say, "Oh, but I'm for English as the national language," because there's a legal difference. And the difference is English as the official language would, you know, not allow bilingual ballots and --

MacCALLUM: All right, well, back to my question. Just in terms of, you know, who they can beat, you think Obama is easier to beat.

O'DONNELL: Absolutely.

MacCALLUM: Jane, who do you think?

FLEMING: There's no way that they can beat Obama, and there's -- it's a rare chance that you guys are going to beat Clinton as well. All the national polls say we beat you guys. Democrats are fired up. We outperformed you guys 2-to-1 in Iowa, we're going to outperform you in New Hampshire. Democrats are going to win this. I don't care if it's Edwards, Obama, or Clinton.

UPDATE: Ben Smith reports that, "in a remarkable reversal," NRSC Chairman John Cornyn is now pledging to back O'Donnell's candidacy.