Rove: O'Donnell should explain 'dabbling' in witchcraft

Republican strategist Karl Rove is calling for Sarah Palin to prove her political prowess by showing up in person in Delaware to support Tea Party favorite Christine O'Donnell.

Rove told Fox News' Chris Wallace Sunday that if Palin wants to run for president in 2012 then she needs to show her political skill now. He also said O'Donnell made a "smart decision" by canceling her appearances on Sunday talk shows, following the revelation, via talk show host Bill Maher, that she had "dabbled in witchcraft" in her youth.

"I frankly think she made a smart decision by not getting on the Sunday shows this week," Rove said. "She shouldn't have accepted in the first place. But she needs to talk to the people of Delaware."

Of Palin's potential presidential ambitions for 2012, Rove said, "I don't know if she is the front-runner. ... There are several geological ages to come and go before that race shapes up.

"Look, if Sarah Palin wants to demonstrate her power and influence, she ought to -- where we started was Delaware -- she ought to go to Delaware and campaign for her favorite Christine O'Donnell," he continued.

Palin tweeted on behalf of O'Donnell a few days before the primary followed by an endorsement on Sean Hannity's radio program.

"If she wants to demonstrate political power, go to Delaware and take the candidate whom she is backing and get her along the finish line campaigning with her in Delaware," said Rove.

"Sarah Palin has enormous magnatism and a big following. Let her employ it in the field on the front lines about a candidate she cares so much about," he concluded.

There has been tension between O'Donnell and Rove following her nomination as Republican candidate for senator from Delaware. Rove told Fox News' Sean Hannity that the candidate has said "nutty things."

"This is not a race we're going to be able to win," he said the night she won the primary.

O'Donnell fired back at Rove the next morning on ABC. "Everything that he's saying is unfactual," she said. "And it's a shame, because he's the same so-called political guru that predicted I wasn't going to win. ... He's eating some humble pie, and he's just trying to restore his reputation."

Rove: O'Donnell should explain 'dabbling' in witchcraft

On his show Friday, Bill Maher aired a clip of O'Donnell admitting that she had "dabbled" in witchcraft when she was younger.

"I dabbled into witchcraft -- I never joined a coven," O'Donnell said in the 1999 Politically Incorrect clip. "But I did, I did. I dabbled into witchcraft. I hung around people who were doing these things. I'm not making this stuff up. I know what they told me they do."

"One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar, and I didn't know it. I mean, there's little blood there and stuff like that," she said.

When asked about how O'Donnell should handle the revelations, Rove said she should explain herself and move on.

"You know, in southern Delaware, where there are a lot of church-going people, they'll probably want to know what is that all about," Rove told Wallace.

"She has to explain it and put it in the most sympathetic light and move on. She can't simply say these are unfactual and not true and ignore them. Go to my website and ignore them. I don't think the people of Delaware have or are accepting that as a reasonable explanation. Until they do, they are going to be resistant to hearing the bigger, broader more important message," he said.

This video is from Fox's Fox News Sunday, broadcast Sept. 19, 2010.

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The following video was posted to the Web by MediaMatters.

Rove: O'Donnell should explain 'dabbling' in witchcraft

This video is from Fox's Fox News Sunday, broadcast Sept. 19, 2010.

Watch this video on iPhone/iPad