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.