September 16th, 2010
09:41 PM ET

Christine O’Donnell’s claims vs. the facts: Join the live chat

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

What you might not know about the Tea Party sensation of the moment, Delaware's GOP Senatorial nominee Christine O'Donnell. She’s trailing her opponent badly in a poll out today, but crushing him in the money race, claiming close to a million dollars in contributions in the last 24 hours alone. But as the money flows in, we’re also learning more about how she spent some of the money left over from her former campaign as well as inconsistencies between some of her statements and the facts. Keeping them honest, we’ll be checking the rhetoric against reality.

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

Filed under: Live Blog
soundoff (271 Responses)
  1. Walter, Greenville, NC

    I don't see how the Tea Party sees O'Donnell as "change" from the mainstream she has more questions on her character than most Senators. She can't handle her money and wants to bring "change" to Washington. What kind of "change?" Is she going to attempt to make bribes and using tax payer money for bowling legal?

    September 16, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  2. Brody - Philadelphia

    The major media is attacking Ms. O'Donnell while the establishment in Washington seeks to maintain its power and ability to keep spending other people's money.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  3. Kelly, Harrisburg, PA

    Does O'Donnell really deserve all this media attention? By giving her all this national attention, the media is affecting the election.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  4. Linda and Dan

    The difference between Christine O'Donnell and Charlie Rangel is that Charlie is currently under investigations. He is by no means getting a free pass, he is simply not on our minds at the moment.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  5. David

    How can she be concerned with washington spending, when she can't control her campaign budget. No Sense what so ever.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  6. Christy

    Why is it that people who are part of the Tea Party are routinely spoken about as if they are crazy, fringe, loons? I am not a member, but agree with their principals: smaller government, less spending, belief that capitalism is what made this country great - It's a resounding cry being heard across America and that is why O'Donnel won.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  7. David, Indiana

    Good evening Anderson, Isabel, Emily, Starr, Megan, Sree, Nicole, everyone.

    This is the potential hit to reputability that was brought up last night. Could the mileage be related to campaign business. Did she take money for mileage and gas at the same time? Troubling to have a former treasurer critizing her.

    The media is responsible for being careful not to give in to bias. But I agree facing the media questions does in the long run help to prepare a candidate to govern.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  8. Kristen

    If Christine O'Donnell cannot demonstrate integrity and honesty with her OWN money, why on earth should she be allowed to have any say with OTHER PEOPLE's money???

    September 16, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  9. dave

    Ari is correct. We are pissed at the establishment and want votes we can count on. You good old boys ... move over ... we are coming and that includes you!

    September 16, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  10. Luke

    Christine's "personal foibles" are ones that frighten me. These tea partiests are concerned with government spending and waste yet they support a woman that goes against what they stand for, it doesn't make sense. What may seem as a side story now can change into a serious problem if she rises power.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  11. Janis Hewitt

    She probably just doesn't know political etiquette yet.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  12. Sofie

    do you think the Palin philosophy of only speaking with friendly media will work? What about debates? Some of them won't debate.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  13. Nick

    I'm an independent and could careless about Democrats or Republicans. Having said that, this lady's character is extremely shady. I'm not too happy about the Democrats in power but frankly, if the Republican/Tea Party can only come up with the likes of Christine O'Donnell, then they deserve to lose and remain the minority in both chambers. How could anybody vote this lady to the U.S. Senate, one of the most important institutions on the face of the earth??? This is mind-boggling!!

    September 16, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  14. Heather - Spokane, WA

    Well said Roland

    September 16, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  15. Sree Nanduru, Richmond, VA

    I am looking at it as a leverage with these tea party candidates. They will impact both the core parties in the country and I am sure the republicans as well as democrats will try to find the empathy with the tea party supporters.

    Really funny that both parties are talking about fiscal responsibility and budget cuts at elections.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  16. Samantha Rowley - Nashville, TN

    @ Nancy in Oregon
    "...But I think you have to take the questions if you enter the public arena willingly."

    Well said Nancy. She needs to make herself available to ALL media outlets and answer any question posed to her. She can't just pick and choose.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  17. Eric

    It's a sad day when a pure con artist becomes a "real" political contender. At least most regular politicians have a real job first, then become con artists!!!

    It's almost amusing that these silly Tea-Partiers are all about integrity and stopping gov spending, when this woman is spending her meager campaign funds for things as minor as her own groceries. Imagine what would happen if she actually has access to real money!!!

    September 16, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  18. Stacy (PA)

    This sounds like Sara Palin all over again. I'm so sick of the Tea Partiers come off so self righteous. Sara was selected for the wrong reason and lost for the right reasons. If O'Donnell can't face the press with integrity she shouldn't be voted into office.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  19. joe

    The personal lives of politicians have become mre of a media circus for both sides than the fundamental policies that they stand for.When will the media begin debating platform merit and faults .

    September 16, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  20. Reuben

    I agree with Roland... it's a matter of principle & honesty. The amount shouldn’t matter. Besides, today it’s a few hundred, tomorrow it’ll be millions of taxpayer dollars.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  21. Nancy in Oregon

    'You betcha'....when she said that, I thought, 'Wannabe!'

    September 16, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  22. Tim

    Tea party has no credibility to back a candidate with so much baggage, Palin and credibility, oil and water.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  23. Ken

    To suggest her financial dealings are not important or irrelevant is reckless. She is running for public office; she will have interest groups and lobbyist trying to pursuade her on many issues. Will she vote because its the right thing to do or will her vote go to the highest bidder?

    September 16, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  24. Susan

    Too bad the media doesn't spend this amount of time looking at all our elected officials finances! Rangel etc!! Where is the meeting then and now?
    This is piling on!

    September 16, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  25. Suresh

    Is Ari saying that if elected the Tea party candidates will be slightly more honest then the corrupt establishment candidates like Charlie Rangel?

    September 16, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  26. Adrienne

    O'Donnell is a hypocrite– just like the rest of the Tea Partyers.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  27. Starr, formerly known as vincent

    I agree with David G.'s assessment of Ari's remarks, however, i do feel that C. Wrangle'
    s issues are import.

    But Mr. Wrangle is scheduled for a trial. If his district voted him in regardless of ethics issues, then they get what they get.

    The candidate (I'm sorry, i don't remember her name) is an unknown quanitity at this time. Before she is elected Senator, the people of Delaware deserve transparancy from her.

    @Emily & JoAnn OH – appreciate both of your posts – well said!

    September 16, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  28. Jacob

    I just heard a voter defending Christine O'Donnell's issues as saying that she's one of them. It has become a campaign strategy to say that we are one among you and we understand you. A lot of these mortgage owners have lost their homes because of sheer irresponsibility. And if Christine is one among them i.e without a source of income, having money problems and using campaign money, it doesn't become an offense. People feel they are being cheated on their homes and fail to realize that it was their irresponsibility. And so, integrity and honesty play no role in a candidate's election profile. Sad state of affairs in this country.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  29. Arley

    I cannot believe that we are dealing with such a candidate. This just goes to show the desperation America is in right now. We need to make up our minds and trust our elected officials to make the choices in the country's best interest.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  30. Carla

    We all have ups and downs but to justify lies, it is little too much. She needs to come clean and talk about her issues.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  31. Gilbert

    If O'Donnell has money problems prior to running the race, these things should have been addressed long ago...it seems that the American people are tired of the same 'ole same 'ole in Washington and she only won, because they didn't want Castle to be in there again...!

    September 16, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  32. Rene TX

    This women has alot of questions to answer.... Don't think she can win;something sounds fishy with her.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  33. TJ

    These issues will haunt her into the general election, and with her small base and the fact that she avoids hard questions, she'll never win a general election.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  34. Ron from PA

    The Tea Party has been shouting for months that they don't believe that Washington has integrity regarding spending. Now they are defending their candidate, Christine O'Donnell, who has spent campaign donations for her own expenses.

    This wreaks of hypocrisy!

    September 16, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  35. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    @Libby...that's because they can't stand up to the heat. Many of them shoot from the hip out of emotion and their arguments, albeit some very valid ones, can't hold water because they're just not adept at communicating to all sides of the public.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  36. Libby

    LOL @ Charles in Springfield. Good one! 😀

    September 16, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  37. Drew Helmstetter

    I am with Anderson. These amounts equal a Busch league expense account (and I would know). Yes, it goes to integrity; but this is American politics right? I bet she would show you her birth certificate for free...

    September 16, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  38. Mary

    Palin's just teaching O'Donnell how to make lots of money after the campaign is all over and she has lost, just like she is doing !!

    September 16, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  39. Al Garcia

    With all those issues your digging up on her, maybe she's running for the wrong party; I smell media bias and fear of her.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  40. Soledad Gomez

    Hello AC and 360 team!!! So glad to see you guys tonight...

    September 16, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  41. Emily

    Hi Nice to see you back...
    "This woman should Not be running."
    Her win was a surprise, however, I think that if she lets this all go to her head, and that she is in control and not the people, she really won't win in Nov.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  42. Dulcie - Denver

    I'm sorry, but O'Donnell is a disgrace. I'm betting she's going to flame out because she doesn't have enough substance to answer those allegations.

    I'm always surprised at how... strangely some people vote in a fit of pique.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  43. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Good point, David Gergen.......

    September 16, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  44. Nancy in Oregon

    I wonder when 'digging up dirt' shifts to legitimate investigation? Is it in the eye of the beholder? When are people 'piling on' and when do people 'smell a rat'? Not always easy to know, I agree. But I think you have to take the questions if you enter the public arena willingly.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  45. Lori, CA

    I think these issues regarding public officials are important to discuss. These people are making decisions on our behalf. We need to understand the circumstances that have led to these decisions. Are these honest people who are representing us?

    September 16, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  46. Charles, Springfield, VA

    She's a cross between Sarah Palin and Alvin Greene!

    September 16, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  47. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    @Emily, "Must demand that these candidates talk with ALL the media outlets;"

    We should also demand that the msm not take sides during the interviews and treat all candidates the same. All of them have issues they can and should be challenged on.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  48. Janis Hewitt

    Those murders were some of the worst things I've ever heard. That is where you have to think real hard about capital punishment when human beings can do that to a family. Monstrous.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  49. Sharon Hastings

    These financial and integrity issues surrounding O'Donnell are going to all come out before the general election. But these are not even the things I am most concerned about. This woman does not tell the truth and she has some really stupid notions such as statements that using condoms spreads AIDS. This is not a woman you would want making policy in our country.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  50. Cessy - Chicago

    O' ODnnell: " This is a candidate that has trouble with the job, money and truth "...

    well, said Mr. Gergen.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
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