Today’s Q’s for O’s WH — 9/15/2010 — The White House on Christine O’Donnell and GOP “Intraparty Anger”

By Maya

Sep 15, 2010 2:23pm

From ABC News' Jake Tapper: TAPPER:  Christine O'Donnell, who won the Delaware senatorial primary last night for the Republicans, in 2008 said that then-Senator Obama was so liberal that he's anti-American.  Does the White House have any comment on that? GIBBS:  I — I just saw a couple of clips on that right before I came down.  I — if I'm not mistaken, that was probably an election — she was at that time running for the same position she runs for now, right? TAPPER:  I'm not sure if she was a candidate or a pundit. GIBBS:  Well, I — I think she — maybe both.  If I'm not mistaken, she ran in 2008 against — against then-Senator Joe Biden and I think lost fairly handedly, close to 2-to-1. I think — look, I think last night showed that there is a very vociferous debate going on inside the Republican Party for the hearts and minds of Republican voters.  I think if you look at what people like Karl Rove or people like the state GOP chairman have said, the Republicans in Delaware nominated somebody that they don't believe can win — I think, in the words of the state party chair, couldn't be elected dogcatcher. I think comments like that is probably what led to her losing 2- to-1 in Delaware in 2008 and I think — I think, obviously, is — is why you have people in the Republican Party structure in Delaware saying that she will be hard to elect, because her views are outside the mainstream of — of what people in Delaware think now. TAPPER:  Are you — is the White House concerned at all that a lot of the voter anger that Republican incumbents have generally been feeling will now be directed at Democratic incumbents now that — other than why the primaries are over, now it's the general election time, and a lot of this enthusiasm and a lot of this energy and a lot of this anger is going to be focused on the Democratic incumbents? GIBBS:  Let me — I'll take this two ways.  One, I think — I think you have to look at the practical implications of the anger that you just spoke about. I think there is no doubt — and I don't think anybody would disagree — that that intra-party Republican anger has changed the complexion of a number of races at a state and a district level.  And that has real-world practical implications for the outcome of what happens in November. Again, last night, I think — I think is a pretty good example, both in a congressional race and in a Senate race in Delaware, that — that makes winning those races for the Republicans a fundamentally harder task. I will say this, and I've said this… TAPPER:  You're talking about the House race in Delaware, also? GIBBS:  Delaware, yes.  And I've said this on a number of occasions, in all honesty, for about two years.  There is — there — there — there is — there was two years ago, not just because of the collapse of something like Lehman two years ago today — there was a frustration in the electorate about where we were economically.  There — that — that frustration, I think, in many ways is still in the electorate. I — I — I — it was — I'd — I'd spoke about this after Massachusetts.  I think that same type of frustration was there, and — and I have no doubt that it continues today.  We'll — we'll see what that produces in November.  I remain confident and, as I've said, that — that on election night we'll retain control of both the House and the Senate. But I don't think anybody would tell you that there's not a frustration — particularly based on — on — on what has happened economically and — and where we are in that recovery.  And — and the president shares in — in some of that frustration. -Jake Tapper

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