OTR Interviews

Christine O'Donnell Still Loves Being a 'Troublemaker' to Both the GOP and Democratic Establishment

Former Senate candidate discusses Tea Party principles, detractors and her new book

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," August 16, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Ten months ago, all eyes were on the Senate race in the state of Delaware. Tea Party darling Christine O'Donnell had blasted onto the scene and shocked everyone when she snatched the Republican nomination from the establishment candidate, former Republican governor Mike Castle. Now, O'Donnell did not win the general election, Senator Chris Coons did, but she sure did stir things up! Well, now she's out with a new book, "Troublemaker," and she's taking us behind the scenes and telling us everything in the book.

Joining us Delaware's Christine O'Donnell. Nice to see you, Christine.

CHRISTINE O'DONNELL, AUTHOR, "TROUBLEMAKER": Thank you for having me, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: And the title, "Troublemaker," I guess it's an appropriate title for your book. Do you agree?

O'DONNELL: Well, I got the title from a cover story on "Time" magazine, when they dubbed me the troublemaker. And I took it as a compliment because to me, it represented the way that I was willing to bust up the backroom deals and speak my mind on the campaign trail and call it the way I saw it, which I think is what more people need to do. And I wrote the book in what some political advisers says is maybe too honest, too candid, but in order to inspire more troublemakers to get involved.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well, in the book -- and you make plain that the -- let's look at the Republican Party, and you said that the -- your campaign -- that there were dirty tricks from the Republican Party against you, essentially to sabotage your race. In what way?

O'DONNELL: Well, in several ways. One of the most public was that both the former chairman of the Delaware GOP and the Democrats filed a false complaint against me, essentially abusing the political process and abusing the justice system as a political weapon. And they do this so that during the election, the headlines read, Christine O'Donnell being investigated or Christine O'Donnell, you know, accused of this illegal activity.

Now, 10 months later, I've been cleared of all charges. The phony allegations have been dismissed. But they do this, knowingly file false claims...

VAN SUSTEREN: Why, though?

O'DONNELL: ... so that the political damage is done.

VAN SUSTEREN: But why? Wouldn't they want a Republican -- I mean, even though that you were sort of a troublemaker, to use your term on the book, wouldn't they rather have Republican troublemaker than a Democrat in the United States Senate?

O'DONNELL: You would think. And that's what baffled me. And as I say in the book, I think that certain establishment leaders would rather control the way they lose than lose control of their party.

And I also go on to define what I think the establishment is. Not every incumbent, not every well-off person is the establishment. And likewise, you don't have to be successful to be of the establishment mindset. To me, it's an eagerness to compromise your principles, an eagerness to step on people in order to get ahead.

And in order to combat how the establishment has run our country into the ground and turned Washington into a favor factory, we need more citizen activists to get involved, to put their name on the line, to run for office. And I hope that my book will share the story in a way that they might be able to relate to and realize that if she can do it, I can do it.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well, we're not going to beat a dead horse, but you discuss the witch ad. And I'll just tell the viewers if they want to hear all about the witch ad, they can read the book.

I want to turn to now. The Republican Party -- the race is getting heated up in earnest. Who -- I mean, what -- what candidates have caught your attention, and why, whether in the race or not yet in the race or maybe never will get in the race?

O'DONNELL: Right. Well, quite honestly, I'm very happy with all of the candidates. And I think that...

VAN SUSTEREN: That's not -- I mean, you can't be! I mean, you -- that's the weak answer.

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: ... must be one -- must be one who's your favorite.

O'DONNELL: Well, I honestly don't have a favorite because I think that it's very telling of the influence that the Tea Party has had on the movement in the fact that we have, as our front-runners, all champions of the constitutional principles that made our country great.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, let me ask you a couple quick questions, then. Could you vote for -- could you -- could support, for instance, Governor Romney with the Massachusetts health care?

O'DONNELL: Well, I actually like Governor Romney so far. And I think that it's reassuring and comforting to a lot of people that I've met on the ground and talked about it, the way that he's keeping his eyes focused on Obama and he's remaining very presidential throughout this and he's not throwing slings and barbs at his fellow contenders. And I think people like that. We need stability in this time of such uncertainty, and I think that Romney brings that.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, two quick questions. One is, are you going to run again? That's the first one. Or maybe that's the second one. And the first one is, what do you think of Congresswoman Bachmann?

O'DONNELL: Yes. Well, I also like Michele Bachmann. I think the fact that she won the Iowa straw poll is a real testimony to her fortitude and to her strength. And you know, I can relate to the double standard that exists for not just female candidates, but when you're a conservative female candidate, it's a double whammy. And we have to endure things that men don't.

I mean, for example, imagine if in the 2008 presidential primaries, somebody asked either Barack Obama or Joe Biden, How are you going to control your libido when you get into the White House? I mean, there's such a double standard about what's...

VAN SUSTEREN: I actually -- I...

(CROSSTALK)

VAN SUSTEREN: I think there may be a double standard. But I will say one thing, is that, you know, I think Democratic women have been hit...

(CROSSTALK)

O'DONNELL: Oh, absolutely!

VAN SUSTEREN: ... just like the Republican women. I don't think it's necessarily...

O'DONNELL: I agree!

VAN SUSTEREN: I don't think one has -- but one -- I got to -- I got to go, but I just want to know. Are you going to run again?

O'DONNELL: I honestly don't know. You know, as I say in the book, every time I made the decision to run, it was usually a painstaking decision made at the last minute. And when I decided to run, I threw my hat in the ring.

But right now, my focus is on filing a counter-complaint against CREW for abusing the justice system and knowingly filing false claims. And my focus is on building up Christine PAC so that we can help lead this conservative middle class movement. You know, it's not really just conservative. It's Democrats, Republicans, and independents who are getting behind Christine PAC so that everyday Americans, the people who have been ousted by the political process, can have a voice again. So right now...

VAN SUSTEREN: And I -- and I...

O'DONNELL: ... that's my goal.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... got to go. I got to go. You're going to be a troublemaker for me. My producer's going to be mad because we're running out of time.

(LAUGHTER)

VAN SUSTEREN: New book, "Troublemaker." Christine, thank you.

O'DONNELL: Thank you, Greta.