O’Donnell Softens Anti-Gay Message in Debate
Trailing by double-digits in most polls, Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell went on the offensive Wednesday, attacking Democrat Chris Coons as a career politician with Marxist views who would raise taxes and rubber-stamp Democratic policies.
Coons, meanwhile, during a nationally televised debate portrayed O’Donnell as an extremist more interested in clever sound bites than offering solutions to the problems confronting the nation.
O’Donnell, a tea party favorite, 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.
She asked for a full minute to talk about a college newspaper column Coons wrote titled "Chris Coons: The Making of a Bearded Marxist," that discussed his political transformation after seeing widespread poverty during a trip to Kenya.
"My opponent has recently said that it was studying under a Marxist professor that made him become a Democrat. So when you look at his position on things like raising taxes, which is one of the tenets of Marxism; not supporting eliminating death tax, which is a tenet of Marxism - I would argue that there are more people who support my Catholic faith than his Marxist beliefs," O’Donnell said.
Coons said the headline was intended to be humorous and that he’s never been anything but a "clean-shaven capitalist."
In its simplest terms, Marxism philosophy is based on the idea that class struggle drives history and that capitalism will be replaced by socialism and eventually a classless society that governs itself.
The Republican also tried to shift the conversation to Coons’ record of presiding over three property tax increases as chief executive of Delaware’s largest county.
"My opponent has a history of promising not to raise taxes on the campaign trail and then breaking those promises as soon as he takes office," she said.
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