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WASHINGTON – Tea-party heroine Christine O’Donnell criticized the bargain struck by congressional Republicans and President Obama, in which Bush-era income tax cuts will be extended in return for an extension of unemployment benefits, because it is unlikely to stimulate the economy.
“[H]is announcement of economic recovery was more of a potpourri of sound bites. It’s like he took a little bit of what each party wanted and put it together. It’s not a solid plan constructed on sound economic principles.” said O’Donnell in remarks following her keynote address at the Northern Virginia Tea Party banquet Dec. 7. “Increasing spending and a free market economy are not compatible.”
The former Delaware GOP Senate candidate suggested coupling tax cuts with spending cuts was the best way to get the national economy moving.
During her speech, O’Donnell chastised Obama for promoting policies that “weaken the character” of the nation and urged tea-party activists to persevere in their efforts to restore the nation through the political system.
“[Obama] is creating a culture of dependency and entitlement, weakening the character of our country as a whole,” said O’Donnell, who went on to warn that America “will implode from within.”
O’Donnell noted that work is essential for upholding the “dignity” of each person. She characterized the extension of unemployment benefits as a “tragedy,” in part because the expense is added to the deficit, but also because the policy deprives people of “honor,” “value” and “respect” gained through work.
“This is the Second American Revolution,” said O’Donnell, who said the tea party movement would have to keep on fighting for “five or six more election cycles.”
O’Donnell pointed to Revolutionary War general Nathanael Greene as an example for activists to follow. The Rhode Island Quaker had such “passion to serve” that he accepted disinheritance from his wealthy family and excommunication from his denomination in order to fight, and ended up “winning the South for George Washington.”
Like Greene, “You fight, get beat, get up, learn your lesson, and fight again until you win,” said O’Donnell.
“The only thing that can keep us from victory in this second American revolution is ourselves,” said the former candidate, who encouraged the audience to “pledge our lives, fortunes, and sacred honor” so our children can enjoy the freedoms won for us by the founding fathers.
During conversations with reporters after her speech, O’Donnell added, however, the major factor determining whether tea-party candidates won or lost Senate races this year was the cooperation of the Republican establishment.
“The common denominator … was whether the establishment got behind the candidate the people chose,” said O’Donnell, who pointed to her own and Nevada Republican Sharron Angle’s defeats and Kentucky Republican Rand Paul’s victory. “[Senate Republican leader] Mitch McConnell got behind Rand Paul the day after the primary.”
Regarding her own state, O’Donnell said, “Before anybody can be successful, we have to change the Republican leadership and reform the Delaware Republican party.”
O’Donnell noted she is forming a political action committee, temporarily named Christine PAC, which will enable her to endorse candidates and speak out on issues. Her immediate goals are to block reinstatement of the death tax and repeal Obama’s health care legislation.
“The death tax is an unjust tax,” said O’Donnell, who expressed concern that the tax, scheduled for reimplementation Jan. 1, would force the liquidation of numerous small businesses.
“Economic studies” show eliminating the death tax would create “1.5 million new jobs” by “keeping small businesses together,” said O’Donnell.
The former candidate also said she had signed a deal to write a book giving a “behind the scenes” look at her campaign, “to inspire people not to give up.”