Republican Senate hopeful Christine O'Donnell offered a strangely mixed message to the national GOP: she's fighting them -- but couldn't they help her out too?
In an interview with "This Week" she asked the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) for more help. "We're asking the National Republican Senatorial to help us shine a spotlight on my opponent's negative record," she said. "We're hoping that the National Republican Senatorial Committee will help us. But it's two and a half weeks left, and they're not."
But at debate at the Wilmington, Del. Rotary Club on the same day, O'Donnell ended her closing statement not with a message of party unity, but with one of defiance: "If you want a senator who has had to fight her own party and is still fighting her own party," she said, "please vote O'Donnell for U.S. Senate."
The NRSC has donated the legal maximum, $42,000, to her campaign. Last month, after O'Donnell won the Delaware Republican primary against the party-backed Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del., the chairman of the NRSC, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Tex., said in a statement, "Let there be no mistake: The National Republican Senatorial Committee -- and I personally as the committee's chairman -- strongly stand by all of our Republican nominees, including Christine O'Donnell in Delaware."
She's asking for help from Washington, but it's unclear just how much she actually needs. O'Donnell raised more than $3.7 million since she won the Republican primary last month, according to The Associated Press.
O'Donnell has a monetary advantage over her Democratic opponent, Chris Coons -- but he leads her substantially in the polls. Democrats appear to remain cagey about the race. President Obama and Vice President Biden campaigned for him in Delaware on Friday.
In a Sunday exclusive with "This Week" anchor Christiane Amanpour, Democratic Senate hopeful Chris Coons said winning the open seat he's running for in Delaware would all but guarantee that the Republicans didn't take control of the Senate.
"I don't think there's a scenario where the Republicans take control of the United States Senate if I'm successful in this Senate seat," he told Amanpour. "And I've been told that's a critical strategic concern for folks who are looking at this race from outside."
Amanpour asked him what he thought his opponent's greatest strength was.
"She's good on TV," Coons said, referring to Republican Christine O'Donnell.
"She's also got a lot of persistence. I mean she's run for the United States Senate three times in five years. That's a lot of persistence," he told Amanpour.
"And what do you think it's all about?" she asked.
"I think," Coons said, "my grandmother would have said she has a lot of moxie."