O'Donnell Defends Tea Party vs. Occupy Debate at RNC 'Troublemaker Fest'
Former GOP Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell said her "troublemaker fest" in Tampa for the Republican National Convention is designed for young people to get engaged in the political process and counter "Marxist sound bites coming from our own president."
But she disputed a report in The Blaze that she's stealing the concept for a Tea Party vs. Occupy Wall Street debate, which she'll co-host at the fest, from a reality show in production.
"That's not true," O'Donnell said on CNN this morning. "And it's a shame. ...Here is the bottom line. You can't trademark a movement. And I think this it guy is a publicity hound. This isn't a TV show. It's a debate."
"I've had the venue reserved for months. It's been on the convention calendar for months," she continued. "...I sent out a press release to my supporters probably about two months ago. I don't know the exact date but it's absolutely absurd. And the same man who put this out is the man who when I tried to reach out to him and have a discussion about how we might be able to work together because the idea of getting both sides of our message -- you know, the Occupy and Tea Party out there to voters is important, he swore at me, he used the 'F' word, he raised his voice. This is not a rational human being."
O'Donnell said the troublemaker fest is meant to turn the tables on the protest movements of the '60s. "Young radicals were called the troublemakers and they were challenging the policies of the establishment. And that's exactly what we see happening here," she said. "Throughout, you know, my campaign and the years following, I've been around so many young people who are genuine troublemakers who are challenging the establishment. However, the ironic thing is the roles have reversed. These young people are the ones who are actively championing the principles of a free market and it's the government who's championing Marxism."
O'Donnell was asked about stats indicating that three-quarters of those who identify as Tea Party are age 45 or older, as well as young people polling heavily for President Obama and polling significantly lower than 2008 on whether they're likely to vote.
"They are alarming," she said. "...That's why we're doing this, because in this election cycle you hear all these stats and figures that policy wonks like me love, you know, when you hear I don't love the stats, I don't like the news that's coming from them. But we feed on this stuff."