Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell attempted to assure voters Thursday night that previous views she expressed about people's sexual conduct would not be a focus of her agenda if she makes it to Washington.
Asked about what the proper role of government should be in sexual matters during a two-hour candidate forum sponsored by The Jewish Federation, O'Donnell echoed the sentiment of one audience member, who shouted, "it's personal."
"I agree with you, it's personal. When I go to Washington, D.C. the litmus test by which I cast my vote for every piece of legislation that comes across my desk will be whether or not it is constitutional," she replied.
Since her primary win over nine-term Rep. Mike Castle, O'Donnell has had to deal with past comments as videos of them have surfaced. She used the forum to reintroduce herself to voters, while acknowledging her public image has taken a beating over the last month.
"It's no secret that there's been a rather unflattering portrait of me painted these days," O'Donnell said. "I am fighting two political parties here in Delaware."
In her first joint appearance with Democratic Senate nominee Chris Coons, O'Donnell addressed the controversial comments that have rocketed through the blogosphere and cable news as national notoriety about her candidacy increases.
A video of O'Donnell equating masturbation to adultery and saying that sex acts should be reserved for married couples has been featured prominently on blogs and news shows since Tuesday's primary. O'Donnell, who is single herself, recorded the videos in the mid-nineties when she was president of the Savior's Alliance for Lifting the Truth, or SALT. (continues here)