Questions Surround Del. Senate Hopeful O'Donnell In the latest win for the Tea Party, Delaware's Christine O'Donnell beat long-term Rep. Mike Castle for the GOP Senate nomination. The outcome rocked the party and led many to ask: Who is Christine O'Donnell? Beneath her energy and charm are some questionable credentials and odd past statements.
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Questions Surround Del. Senate Hopeful O'Donnell

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Questions Surround Del. Senate Hopeful O'Donnell

Questions Surround Del. Senate Hopeful O'Donnell

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DAVID GREENE, Host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm David Greene.

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

NPR's Andrea Seabrook reports on the nominee and how the GOP is dealing with this sudden game change.

ANDREA SEABROOK: Christine O'Donnell is sharp, charming and energetic.

CHRISTINE O: We are running a truly grassroots campaign on the sweat equity of our committed volunteers who are passionately committed to this race - that's the exciting thing.

SEABROOK: Early in her career, she was fired from a respected Republican think tank which she then sued for discrimination. In 2008, her house fell into foreclosure and was scheduled for auction until a friend and campaign worker bought it from her. She was then audited by the IRS. And in an interview in August, she suggested that audit was politically motivated.

DONNELL: I ran against Joe Biden, and I was audited. And my mother's business was audited, as well as many other family members were audited - all got our notices the same time, all for the same year. Hmm, that's a coincidence, that's okay.

SEABROOK: Why do you think these audits happened?

DONNELL: Who knows? Who knows? It could be thug politics. It could be intimidation tactics. But either way, it didn't stop me.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SEABROOK: At the end of the audit, she says, the IRS slapped a tax lien on her house, but it had already been sold.

DONNELL: See, that's the other thing. The 11...

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

DONNELL: That's again what makes it really funny because it's an $11,000 on a tax lien on my home that I sold in 2008, so I didn't even own the home when they put the tax lien on it.

SEABROOK: The party spent today trying to recover from Karl Rove's appearance on Fox News last night. The Republican guru came right out and said what others had been whispering for weeks.

KARL ROVE: And again, these serious questions about how does she make her living, why did she mislead voters about her college education, why - how did it - how come it took her nearly two decades to pay her college bill so she could get her college degree.

SEABROOK: He said this to a sputtering Sean Hannity, who tried to defend O'Donnell, to which Rove responded...

ROVE: Did you ask her about the people who are following her home to her headquarters and how she's checked each night in the bushes? Did you ask her - I mean, there's just a lot of nutty things she's been saying that just simply don't add up to...

SEAN HANNITY: Sounds like you don't support her...

SEABROOK: Andrea Seabrook, NPR News, The Capitol.

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