Entries in Chris Coons (9)


Biden Swears In Manchin and Coons, Newest Members of US Senate

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Vice President Joe Biden on Monday came to Capitol Hill to swear in the winners of two special elections, Democrats Chris Coons of Delaware and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
At 4:06 p.m. EST, Biden made Coons and Manchin the newest members of the U.S. Senate. Minutes later, Biden turned to the parliamentarian for direction on what to do next, asking, “Where am I now, coach?”
Coons will replace Sen. Ted Kaufman, who served out the remainder of the loquacious Biden’s term, while Manchin will replace Carte Goodwin, who came to the Hill last summer after the death of Sen. Robert Byrd. 
But another special election-winner was conspicuously absent from Monday’s swearing-in. Republican Mark Kirk of Illinois defeated Democrat Alexi Giannoulias in that state’s special election earlier this month, but Kirk will not be sworn in for another two weeks.
Once Kirk is sworn in to replace Democrat Roland Burris, the Democrats’ majority in the Senate will shrink by one.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio 


ABC News: Christine O'Donnell Projected to Lose Delaware Senate Race

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WILMINGTON, Del.) -- Democrat Christopher Coons is projected to beat Tea Party candidate Christine O'Donnell in the race to keep Vice President Joe Biden's former Senate seat in Democratic hands.

The Delaware race was rarely in doubt as Coons, the New Castle County executive, enjoyed double digit leads in polls in recent weeks, but the national spotlight remained on the state. It was one of the first defeats of the Tea Party in the 2010 Midterm Elections.

O'Donnell first burst into the political limelight as a Tea Party candidate who defeated a moderate and popular Republican, Rep. Michael Castle, in the September primary. She quickly raised $1 million from jubilant Tea Party supporters and won the endorsement of Sarah Palin.

The spotlight, however, turned harsh as O'Donnell struggled to defuse a series of revelations about her past that included dabbling in witchcraft, unpaid student debts, and income taxes, IRS liens, and improperly used campaign funds.

Coons' victory could be vital to the Democrats in the Senate. Should Democrats lose nine other seats in the election, leaving the Senate at 50-50, Coons could emerge as a party savior of sorts, because Democrats would retain the majority by virtue of the vice president holding a tie-breaking vote in the Senate.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Christine O'Donnell TV Ad Struggles to Air

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images

UPDATE: (WILMINGTON, Del.) -- The Christine O'Donnell ad finally aired at 3 pm Monday on Delaware channel 28, O'Donnell spokesman Doug Satchleben said in a statement.  The delay was apparently due to miscommunication between the campaign and station managers.

"Delaware 28 Executive Producer Tim Qualls explained to the campaign that he was out of the area for the weekend because of a family illness, and was apparently unaware of the campaign’s transaction last Friday between a local third-party buyer and Channel 28 employees," he wrote.

"Mr. Qualls is being incredibly cooperative now that he fully understands the situation, and we cannot thank him enough for helping us get Christine’s message out to the voters of Delaware. We are sincerely sorry for any misunderstanding that has transpired and that may have added stress to his family situation."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


(WILMINGTON, Del.) -- Delaware U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell appears to be having some technical difficulties getting a 24-minute documentary-style television ad on the air before Tuesday’s vote.

O’Donnell announced the premiere of her elaborately-produced video on Twitter Sunday night, telling followers to tune in to a local channel for a “look at the unconventional campaign touching Delawareans like no other.”

But when the 11:30 p.m. time slot arrived, there was no O’Donnell.

The campaign sent out a press release Monday morning heralding a second attempt to air the video. But for a second time in as many days, O’Donnell’s ad never made it on the air as planned.

O'Donnell campaign spokesman Doug Sachtleben suggested politics could be at play.

“It’s still unclear as to why the local cable channel failed to air the half-hour long special," he wrote. "Our hope is that this is not another case of the liberal media or political dirty tricks trying to silence Christine’s message to the voters of Delaware."

The piece, entitled “We the People of the First State,” opens to beauty shots of the Delaware landscape and cuts to vacant strip malls and interviews with struggling small business owners.  O’Donnell narrates, telling voters she can best empathize with their plight and showcasing similar themes to the “I'm you” advertisement she ran earlier in the campaign.

O'Donnell is trailing Democrat Chris Coons by 10 points in the most recent poll conducted by Monmouth University.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Chris Coons Shifts on Tax Cuts for Wealthy

Photo Courtesy - Chris Coons for Delaware(NEW YORK) -- Chris Coons changed his previous position on the Bush era tax cuts Thursday morning, telling ABC News that he would support extending all of the tax cuts for everyone for "several years."

"I am committed to extending the Bush tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans for everybody making up to $250,000, but I would extend them for everyone," the Democratic candidate for Delaware’s Senate said.

"I’d be willing to extend them for several years for all Americans, of whatever income if that also allows us to reach a bipartisan compromise that makes real progress in offering tax relief to small and medium businesses, to the home owners exception, to research and development," he said.

That contradicts President Obama’s position and Coons’ own campaign website, which states “High-Income Bush Tax Cuts Should Expire on Schedule.”

The vote on whether to extend the Bush era tax cuts will come up after the November election, and, if Coons wins, he will be a sitting senator during those sessions.

With Coons' shift, he now joins a growing list of Democrats who support extending all of the tax cuts.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Exclusive: O'Donnell Stands Ground on First Amendment Statement

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell strongly defended her statements on the separation of church and state but expressed regret for her "I'm Not a Witch" ad.

During Tuesday night's debate with Democratic opponent Chris Coons, O'Donnell challenged Coons to show where the Constitution requires separation of church and state, drawing swift criticism from her opponent, laughter from the audience and yet another media firestorm.

"It's really funny the way that the media reports things," she told ABC News.  "After that debate my team and I we were literally high fiving each other thinking that we had exposed he doesn't know the First Amendment, and then when we read the reports that said the opposite we were all like 'what?'"

O'Donnell explained her line of questioning to Coons was not because she didn't know the First Amendment, but to the make the point the phrase "separation of church and state" does not appear anywhere in the Constitution.

"I asked him where in the Constitution is the phrase 'separation of church and state,'" O'Donnell recounted.  "He said the First Amendment.  I followed up with, 'Can you name the five freedoms that are guaranteed to us that are protected by the First Amendment?'  And he could not."

O'Donnell maintains she got the better of Coons.

The debate controversy is just the latest in a long string of incidents that have launched O'Donnell into the realm of a national celebrity.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Obama Campaigns For Delaware Senate Seat: Don’t Take this For Granted

Photo Courtesy - ABC News Radio(WILMINGTON, Del.) -- While Democratic Senate candidate Chris Coons has a comfortable lead over Republican candidate Christine O’Donnell President Obama campaigning Friday in Delaware had a message to Democrats:  Don’t take this race for granted.

“I think Chris has so far run an extraordinary race, I don't want anybody here taking this for granted,” the president said from Wilmington Friday, “This is a tough political environment right now.  This is a difficult election because we've been through an incredibly difficult time as a nation.”

Polls show Coons with at least a 17% lead on O’Donnell.  The president never once mentioned Christine O’Donnell by name, arguing more broadly for the Democratic Party’s case versus the broader Republican Party’s, casting his party as working against the status quo.

“It was the conventional wisdom two years ago.  Do you remember that?  Everybody said, no you can't.  And two years ago, you said yes we can.  And you can say that same thing two weeks from now.”

The president said the Republican Party wants to make this election “simply a referendum on the current state of the economy,” but he said this election is really about a choice of the direction of the country.  “I'm here to tell you, don't let anybody tell you that this fight is not worth it.  Don't let them tell you that we're not making a difference."

Vice President Biden and President Obama each spoke at the event Friday in the race for Biden’s old Senate seat, leading to some questions at Thursday's White House briefing as to why the White House is putting so many resources in this race, given that it is not nearly as close as other competitive races.

“I think it's a very important race,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said, “we understand that every vote and every race is important, and obviously this one's, sort of, near and dear to the vice president.   And -- and they're both happy to -- to go do that.”

Gibbs said they “hope and expect” to win the race.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Christine O'Donnell, Chris Coons Trade Barbs in Delaware Debate

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEWARK, Del.) -- In their nationally-televised debate Wednesday, Delaware U.S. Senate candidates Christine O'Donnell and Chris Coons each displayed polarizing views of government and contempt for the way each has been characterized in this campaign.

O'Donnell, a former marketing consultant and Republican candidate who has made two failed bids for the Senate since 2006, attacked her opponent as a "rubber stamp" for the Obama administration, while Coons, her Democratic opponent and a county executive, warned O'Donnell would be a partisan legislator with "extreme" views.

"Ms. O'Donnell has experience running for office but no experience running anything," Coons said.  "She's focused too much on the issues that make good sound bites."

O'Donnell called Coons a politician who "promises to support the Reid-Obama-Pelosi agenda lock, step and barrel.  That's not bipartisanship," she said.

While the candidates sparred over the stimulus and the health care law, the war in Afghanistan and campaign finance reform, some of the most heated exchanges during the 90-minute forum at the University of Delaware surrounded O'Donnell's past statements on hot-button social issues.

O'Donnell tried to dismiss attention to her remarks made during several appearances on TV talk shows in the 1990s about homosexuality, abortion, premarital sex, masturbation and evolution as irrelevant to her candidacy.

Coons avoided bringing up O'Donnell's problems with personal finance, allowing the debate moderators to raise the issue.  When he suggested that such talk was a distraction to the real issues in the campaign, O'Donnell interjected with a joke.

"You're just jealous that you weren't on Saturday Night Live," O'Donnell laughed, a reference to a sketch on the NBC program last weekend that poked fun at her recent campaign ad.

When asked repeatedly and directly, O'Donnell refused to say whether she still believes evolution is a "myth" and she made light of her comments on witchcraft, to which one of her own campaign ads alludes.   She previously said she "dabbled in witchcraft" years ago.

When pressed about a college newspaper article entitled "Chris Coons: The Making of a Bearded Marxist," Coons said it had been written in jest.  "I am not now nor have I ever been anything but a clean-shaven capitalist," he said to laughs, invoking the tone of a witness before a congressional panel investigating communism in the 1950s.

Coons is believed to have the strongest support in the northern portions of Delaware, including New Castle County, where he leads the local government as county executive.  O'Donnell's supporters are dominant in the rural farm towns of Sussex, the southernmost of Delaware's three counties, where her campaign signs populate the country roads that run past farmers' markets and lead to the shore.

The two candidates will reportedly face off again Thursday and are also scheduled to debate on Oct. 19.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Chris Coons on Christine O'Donnell: She's Not Me and She's Not Delaware

Photo Courtesy - Chris Coons/Facebook(NEWARK, Del.) -- With his first general election debate Wednesday night, Democratic Senate candidate Chris Coons is seeking to keep the focus on Delaware issues and voters, even as his Republican opponent, Christine O’Donnell, has drawn his race national attention.

Though O’Donnell declares “I’m you” to Delaware voters in a much-watched ad where she also declares “I’m not a witch,” Coons told ABC’s Top Line Wednesday his opponent does not represent Delaware’s values.

O’Donnell’s only job in recent years, Coons said, has been “running for the U.S. Senate three times.”

“She’s not me, and she’s not Delaware,” Coons said. “Delaware is a state of neighbors. This is a small state where folks build ties over many, many years, and where folks who want to serve us -- as a volunteer or an elected official -- spend a lot of time investing in, and building community. And supporting Delaware’s unique culture.”

“She ran a nasty campaign against Mike Castle that featured some slanderous personal attacks. And best I can tell as I’ve tried to get to know her and her record, in the last five years Ms. O’Donnell’s only employment has been running for the U.S. Senate three times. That’s not the sort of record of volunteerism, of civic engagement, of running something that most folks in Delaware look for in folks that are going to be leaders in our community.”

Coons, the county executive of New Castle County, Delaware, said money from outside Delaware funded O’Donnell’s upset victory over Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del., in the GOP primary last month.

“I had thought it was possible that she was going to make it a close contest. I really didn’t expect her to win in the primary. And I think part of why she did was outside money,” he said. “Folks from South Carolina and Alaska, and PACs affiliated with them came in and ran some ads in the last week or 10 days. And that’s what helped put her over the top. So I was surprised. I had expected a tough uphill race, but I thought I could win against Congressman Mike Castle.”

With O’Donnell attacking Coons as “The Taxman” in her latest ads, Coons said he welcomes the chance to “talk about my real record” as county executive.

“That ad just gets it flat out wrong. It claims that I drove the county to bankruptcy, and that I squandered a large surplus, when exactly the opposite is the case.”

The solutions he implemented included deep budget cuts, in addition to a tax increase, he said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Write Off: Mike Castle Won't Pursue Write-In Bid

Photo Caption -, Del.) -- Defeated Delaware Republican Senate contender Rep. Mike Castle announced he would not pursue a write-in bid against fellow Republican Christine O’Donnell and Democrat Chris Coons.

"While I would have been honored to represent Delaware in the U.S. Senate, I do not believe that seeking office in this manner is in the best interest of all Delawareans," Castle said in a statement. "Therefore, it's time for Jane and me to begin thinking about the next chapter of our lives."

Castle's announcement means he won’t go the way of Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska, even though the Alaska Republican’s write-in effort appears to be gaining some steam. A CNN poll put GOP nominee Joe Miller’s support at 38 percent, followed by 36 percent for Murkowski and 22 percent for Democrat Scott McAdams, among the state’s likely voters. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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