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August 20th, 2012
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Christine O'Donnell: Government is 'championing Marxism,' says she didn't steal Tea Party/Occupy debate idea

This morning, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will be together again after a week apart on the campaign trail. They're going to be hosting a town hall in New Hampshire at the campus of St. Anselm College, after spending the week trying to sell their Medicare plan. That included Paul Ryan bringing his 78- year-old mom to a campaign stop in Florida on Saturday.

President Obama is leaving New Hampshire before Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan arrive. His campaign is still facing some attacks over the comments Vice President Joe Biden made last Wednesday, which suggested that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would put audience members "back in chains."

Christine O'Donnell, former Republican Senate candidate from Delaware, is organizing a 'Troublemaker Fest' for young voters during the Republican National Convention. On "Starting Point" this morning, she explains to Soledad that she thinks the government is '"championing Marxism."

"A lot of people would disagree with me to say when they hear these I believe Marxist sound bites coming from our own president," O'Donnell says. "I would say they're Marxist because of the things that you hear coming from him about share the wealth, economic equality - and these sound bites might sound good and noble on the surface, but the problem is there's quantifiable data that prove that they simply don't work and we're a free market economy that's supposed to empower the individual, let each person use their gifts, use the rewards to create a better life for themselves instead of what Barack Obama is posing, a tax code that punishes hard work, a tax code that reduces everybody to exactly the same."

See more from the interview below. Transcript available after the jump.

RUSH TRANSCRIPT

O'BRIEN: Why do you call it a troublemaker fest?

CHRISTINE O'DONNELL (R), FORMER SENATE CANDIDATE: Why, did you say?

O'BRIEN: I mean, why –

(CROSSTALK)

O'BRIEN: Yes, I mean, I can kind of guess but would love to hear why you call it a troublemaker fest.

O'DONNELL: Well, here's the thing - that's a great question. In the '60s young people, young radicals were called the troublemakers and they were challenging the policies of the establishment. And that's exactly what we see happening here.

Throughout, you know, my campaign and the years following, I've been around so many young people who are genuine troublemakers who are challenging the establishment. However, the ironic thing is the roles have reversed. These young people are the ones who are actively championing the principles of a free market and it's the government who's championing Marxism.

So in that same spirit of troublemaking, we're leading and mobilizing young people who have the most at stake in this e election to stand up and let their voices be heard and to educate their peers.

O'BRIEN: As you well know, there are lots of people who are going to disagree with you on the Marxism comment. But let's talk more about the young people that you are talking about.

You have to worry when you look at some of the polling that they're not inspired. For example –

O'DONNELL: Right.

O'BRIEN: - if you look at the definitely likely to vote in the age group that you're interested in, 18 to 29 years old, 78 percent back in - sorry, 81 percent back in 2004, 78 percent by 2008, down to 58 percent now in 2012. That number has to concern you.

Or even if you look at your own Tea Party, pretty small percentage is in this demo that you're looking for, 7 percent in that 18 to 29 year range. 75 percent are 45 and older.

And, finally, if you look at the numbers when they are interested in voting, who lean for President Obama, or voting for President Obama or leaning for President Obama, 73 percent and look at Mitt Romney or lean Romney that's 25 percent. I have to imagine all those statistics –

O'DONNELL: Right.

O'BRIEN: - are going to be concerning for you.

O'DONNELL: They are alarming. You are right, Soledad, to bring that up and that's why we're doing this, because in this election cycle you hear all these stats and figures that policy wonks like me love, you know, when you hear I don't love the stats, I don't like the news that's coming from them. But we feed on this stuff.

You know, the debt to GDP ratio hit 100 percent. But the young people, they hear that and they say, you know, what does that mean? What's in it for me?

And we need to translate that for them. What that means when your debt to GDP ratio hits 100 percent is that the economy could completely collapses and while that may not mean anything to you right now, when you start buy a home, when you start to plan for your own child's college, these opportunities aren't going to be there for you.

And the other thing, you're right, a lot of people would disagree with me to say when they hear these I believe Marxist sound bites coming from our own president.

O'BRIEN: Why do you think they're Marxist? Why do you say that? You just kind of throw the word socialist and Marxist around that are not necessarily, I think, anchored in definitions of socialism and Marxism. So give me the definition.

O'DONNELL: Well, they absolutely are. But let me - I'll get to that but let me say what we're trying to do at this troublemaker fest is kicking off the whole week with the first ever Tea Party versus Occupy Wall Street debate where people from that side of the movement get to pick their own panelists, pick their own questions, and we are jointly working together to present both sides of the movement to address things like that.

And I would say they're Marxist because of the things that you hear coming from him about share the wealth, economic equality - and these sound bites might sound good and noble on the surface, but the problem is there's quantifiable data that prove that they simply don't work and we're a free market economy that's supposed to empower the individual, let each person use their gifts, use the rewards to create a better life for themselves instead of what Barack Obama is posing, a tax code that punishes hard work, a tax code that reduces everybody to exactly the same.

O'BRIEN: There's so much to hop in on here so I'll do that. So you're a policy wonk now? When did that happen?

O'DONNELL: Well, I've been involved in politics for 20 years. That's what got me involved in this –

O'BRIEN: Policy wonk. O'DONNELL: That's what got me - policy junkie, political junkie, we read these reports. We read, you know, when people say which person is going to destroy Medicare worse than the other, but most people don't, especially the young people, and that is why they're so apathetic. That's why those statistics are so alarming.

And what I want to do, my vision, especially for the Tea Party versus Occupy debate, is for each side to present their message to the young people and then say you pick, because what voters are going to face this e election cycle is a stark contrast, depending on the outcome.

O'BRIEN: So let me ask you about the Tea Party versus Occupy thing. There's some controversy with it? Someone who is now saying it was an idea that was stolen, you took his idea and you kind of ran with the ball. Will Cain, am I right about that?

CAIN: There's a story up today on the Web site that I work for, it's coming out today, on TheBlaze.com that suggests this idea, this concept, Occupy versus Tea Party was one that wasn't Christine O'Donnell's and she has turned –

O'DONNELL: That's not true.

CAIN: - sold that to Al Gore's Current TV. It's a story that's out there, Ms. O'Donnell.

O'DONNELL: And it's a shame. It's a shame because this gentleman is putting out there is flat out lying and "The Young Turks" that I'm working with will tell you we've been working together for months and it was actually Lauren Windsor with the "Young Turks" idea. She bumped into a friend of mine back in February, and they were talking at a bar after a rally. You know, wouldn't it be great?

O'BRIEN: Do you think it will go to lawsuit? As you describe, it sounds messy.

O'DONNELL: It shouldn't. The guy has no weight. Here is the bottom line. You can't trademark a movement. And I think this it guy is a publicity hound.

O'BRIEN: You can trademark a TV show idea, though, right?

O'DONNELL: This isn't a TV show. It's a debate. It's a debate.

It's a shame. It's a shame and, again, this is one time when the "Young Turks" and I will stand in agreement that we've been working on this together for months. I've had the venue reserved for months. It's been on the convention calendar for months.

I mean, since we planned it. It was one of the first things we put on the calendar and we've been organizing behind the scenes before we release d it. I sent out a press release to my supporters probably about two months ago. I don't know the exact date but it's absolutely absurd.

And the same man who put this out is the man who when I tried to reach out to him and have a discussion about how we might be able to work together because the idea of getting both sides of our message - you know, the Occupy and Tea Party out there to voters is important, he swore at me, he used the "F" word, he raised his voice. This is not a rational human being.

O'BRIEN: When was that?

O'DONNELL: This was a couple nights ago. We had our team and the Young Turks both on this conference call, and he jumped in uninvited. He heard about the conference call, jumped in uninvited, started swearing is at all of us. It's a shame. It's a publicity stunt.

It's a shame we're talking about that –

O'BRIEN: Covering a lot of ground. I think we covered a lot of ground. Christine O'Donnell, nice to talk to you. We will see you when we are in Tampa –

O'DONNELL: Likewise.

O'BRIEN: - because we will be at the RNC. We look forward to it. Thanks for being with us.

CAIN: The aptly named troublemakers.

O'BRIEN: Yes.


Filed under: 2012 Race • Politics
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. John Irvine

    How can she compare her group to ones from the 60's? They were Liberals combating Conservatives. This woman is just insane.

    August 20, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chad

      Didn't you hear that she said, "the role is now reversed"? I'm sorry that you Americans have become so partisan that you pulled the trigger to attack someone on the other side before you even hear the whole sentence. Shame on you, war mongers!

      August 23, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse | Reply

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