Christine O’Donnell, NOW Denounce Anonymous Gawker Story as ‘Attack’

Oct 29, 2010 11:00am

ABC News’ Devin Dwyer reports:   An anonymously penned Gawker article alleging that the author had a drunken, one-night stand with U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell of Delaware has drawn sharp rebukes from the Republican’s campaign and the National Organization for Women, which has endorsed her Democratic opponent. "This story is just another example of the sexism and slander that female candidates are forced to deal with,” O’Donnell spokesman Doug Sachtleben wrote in a statement. “From Secretary [Hillary] Clinton, to Governor [Sarah] Palin, to soon-to-be Governor [Nikki] Haley, Christine's political opponents have been willing to engage in appalling and baseless attacks — all with the aim of distracting the press from covering the real issues in this race,” he said, failing to clarify the reference to Clinton, Palin and Haley. The story, first published online Thursday afternoon, describes a random, sexual encounter between the 25-year-old author and O’Donnell on Halloween three years ago. It includes explicit physical descriptions of O’Donnell and details that seek to portray her as a drunk with loose morals.  Democrat Chris Coons has previously condemned personal attacks against O’Donnell but has not spoken out publicly against the Gawker story.  O’Donnell spokesman Sachtleben suggested it could have ties to the Coons campaign.   “Classless Coons goons have proven yet again to have no sense of common decency or common sense,” he said, “with their desperate attacks to get another rubber stamp for the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda.” The National Organization for Women, which has endorsed Coons in the race and said O’Donnell’s political positions are “dangerous for women,” came to her defense Thursday night, denouncing the Gawker story as a “sexist, misogynist attack.” “Let me be honest: I look forward to seeing Christine O'Donnell defeated at the polls, but this kind of sexist attack is an affront to all women, and I won't stand for it,” NOW spokesman Terry O’Neill said in a statement. As a footnote, the O’Donnell campaign’s response to the Gawker story included a humorous miscue late Thursday when it first responded in a news release entitled “O’Donnell Campaign Response to the Universal Condoning of the Gawker Story.” It later sent a revised statement on the “universal condemnation” instead.

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