Castle Confirms He Will Not Endorse McDonnell, Citing “Personal Smears”

Congressman Mike Castle’s decision not to endorse Christine O’Donnell appears to be based more on what she and her supporters said about him during the final week of the campaign than any ideological differences:

Still grappling with his shocking primary defeat, Rep. Michael N. Castle of Delaware said Thursday that he will not endorse Republican Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell because he could not tolerate some of the “personal smears” he faced during the campaign.

Castle has spent the past 36 hours fielding phone calls and pats on the back from well-wishing colleagues and other politicians, including President Obama, Vice President Biden, House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and dozens of others.

He said he is coming to grips with the reasons for his defeat – a conservative rebellion in the southern portion of the state that was given extra ammunition by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s endorsement of O’Donnell. But he said there probably is not enough time in the next six weeks for him to get over some of the attacks against him.

“There are a lot of personal feelings in all this,” Castle said in an interview off the House floor, citing “some of the personal smears” in the bitterly fought campaign. “At this point, I have no intention of endorsing.”

He ruled out supporting the Democratic nominee, New Castle County Executive Chris Coons, suggesting that he will remain neutral in the Senate race.

Last Friday, four days before the primary, O’Donnell called Castle “unmanly” for filing an election law complaint against her, telling a radio show host that “this is not a bake-off, get your man-pants on.”

Both campaigns traded a series of personal charges in the final week of the contest, including Castle supporters who highlighted O’Donnell’s messy personal finances and declared that she could not win a general election for dogcatcher.

Between the insinuations about his sexuality and O’Donnell’s own comment that Castle should “put on his man pants,” I can’t say that I blame him.

Besides, I’m not at all convinced given her past behavior that O’Donnell would’ve endorsed Castle had he won.

FILED UNDER: 2010 Election, Congress, US Politics, , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. DaveP. says:

    …because the things Castle was saying about O’Donnell were completely peachykeen… right?

    Castle can go cry. I’m jsut glad that the Castle team has admitted that picking up the Senatorial seat isn’t as important as his hurt feelings.

  2. Derrick says:

    Dave P,

    Yes, because ripping into someone for their positions on issues is the exact same thing as your campaign calling your opponent gay.

  3. McDonnell also called Castle a traitor to the country and accused him of stalking her during.  This is typical of a certain segment of the right, who feels that they’re allowed to engage in the most vicious and vulgar behavior if that’s what it take to win, but everyone else is supposed to be civil and focus on “what’s best for the party” first.

  4. MIkeinSA says:

    Castle will be running a write-in campaign. . . Just WATCH

  5. Nightrider says:

    There are two types of mainstream Republican reaction going on, and interesting to question which camp one is in.  Some Republicans are unhappy she won because they think she is unelectable, but they would prefer her if they had the only vote.  Others find her so far off their comfort zone that they aren’t sure they would want her to win even if she could.
    Castle may well be in that latter camp, and that may be the bigger reason he may not endorse, with the personal smears an extra excuse.

  6. Bob Davis says:

    Castle is a piece of crap, a no-class loser.

    For an old fart, he’s sure acting in a childish manner. Good riddance.