Whether it was about marriage, Karl Rove or masturbation, former Republican Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell addressed every question “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno had during her first big interview since her 2010 midterm election loss.
During her appearance, O’Donnell, who was one of the most covered candidates this election cycle, walked back from her decade plus-old comments on masturbation, called her “witch” ad a mistake and blasted Karl Rove for his lack of support. The Tea Party darling also said she’d consider a future in television. And she did it all in the course of just nine minutes.
Asked directly about the comments she made as a 20-something on MTV and Bill Maher’s “Politically Incorrect” in which she equated masturbation with infidelity — comments she later defended — O’Donnell walked back from her previous stance ever so slightly.
“In the 90s, I was a kid with a new opinion and for me it was more of a ministry opportunity than a political statement,” she said.
As the Leno and guest David Spade teased O’Donnell and pressed her to her to delve further into the topic, the former candidate laughed and said, “I’m not even going there.”
As for her infamous “I am not a witch” ad, O’Donnell readily admitted that she has her regrets about it because “the whole message got lost.”
“The purpose of that ad was to supposed put it all behind me so we could talk about the largest tax increase in history, the death tax that’s coming this November and it all got lost,” said O’Donnell.
That doesn’t mean that O’Donnell couldn’t take a joke.
“I will say, I saw the SNL skit mocking the witch and I was shocked [because] I laughed,” she said. “It was the first time I laughed [at SNL] since [Spade]” was on the show.
The former candidate, who was behind in the polls against her Democratic opponent Chris Coons from the very moment she emerged victorious from the GOP primary, also didn’t mind saying that Karl Rove, who was critical of her candidacy, was a non-entity for her during and after the election.
“I was the underdog candidate, we didn’t have money, we were challenging a 40-year career politician,” said O’Donnell, speaking about her primary race against liberal Republican Rep. Mike Castle. “When it came time for them to do what they had to do, they couldn’t.”
O’Donnell said she isn’t sure if she’ll run for political office again but would “keep that option open,” although she didn’t specify exactly what office she might be interested in. In the meantime, O’Donnell said she’s focused on advocating for several issues, including ensuring the Bush tax cuts and estate tax reforms don’t expire at the end of the year. She also said she has fielded plenty of “interesting” offers since her election defeat, including book deals and reality shows proposals.
“I’m not necessarily interested in a reality show unless it’s something like … a watchdog-type show,” she said.
“Like a Fox TV gig,” asked Leno.
“I don’t know,” said O’Donnell. “I did the pundit thing and that’s what got me in trouble.”