Christine O’Donnell: I Have Secret Information That China Is Plotting Against Us

Christine O’Donnell circa 2006:

WASHINGTON — Republican Senate nominee Christine O’Donnell of Delaware said in a 2006 debate that China was plotting to take over America and claimed to have classified information about the country that she couldn’t divulge.
O’Donnell’s comments came as she and two other Republican candidates debated U.S. policy on China during Delaware’s 2006 Senate primary, which O’Donnell ultimately lost.

She said China had a “carefully thought out and strategic plan to take over America” and accused one opponent of appeasement for suggesting that the two countries were economically dependent and should find a way to be allies.

“That doesn’t work,” she said. “There’s much I want to say. I wish I wasn’t privy to some of the classified information that I am privy to.”

This one should be easy. Either she had a security clearance in 2006 that would have allowed her to see “classified information,” or she didn’t and she was just making stuff up.

I’m going with option two.

FILED UNDER: 2010 Election, 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. John Peabody says:

    Yes, this is easy. The information was “classified” allright… either by a friend, a neighbor, or just by “classifying” it in her own mind.

    She didn’t say it was classified by the CIA, did she? Nyah, nyah, nyah!

  2. DC Loser says:

    And I assume she also has a list of those people who are members of the Communist Party.

  3. Brummagem Joe says:

    But Doug, this is one of your candidates.

  4. tom p says:

    Doug, you forgot option 3: She super secret stealthed her way into the Vice Presidents office and stole all the classified material she could lay her hands on….

  5. TG Chicago says:

    “Either she had a security clearance in 2006 that would have allowed her to see “classified information,” or she didn’t and she was just making stuff up.”

    It’s kind of a moot point, but those aren’t actually the only two options. Suffice to say that sometimes people who don’t have security clearances manage to see classified information. Leakers, hackers, etc.

    Again, I don’t think that’s relevant to this particular scenario. Well, it kind of is… in the sense that unless O’Donnell can show that she had a security clearance (unlikely, to say the least), she just admitted to lying or viewing information she was not legally authorized to view.

  6. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Meanwhile, Chris Coons, Rieds pet Coons, got the husband of a woman who opposed him fired. Chris Coons for Senator. No opponent will go unpunished. Once a tyrant always a tyrant. I guess Dougie wants Coons to win. Idiot!

  7. Mithras says:

    In April I was at an event in Kentucky that attracted a lot of Tea Party types (as well as Rand Paul and that Anti-Semitic band Poker Face), and one of the many colorful but poorly informed people I met told me that Hillary Clinton, on her last trip to China, delivered the paperwork that would allow the Chinese government to take over federal land in the U.S. if we default on the debt that the Chinese government holds. If this happened, he explained, the Chinese could take, say, Grand Canyon National Park. It would be their territory, they could put their troops on it, and Americans couldn’t visit there without a visa. In fact, he continued, the Chinese already have their own port on the West Coast of the U.S. I asked where, and he was unclear on the details, saying it was somewhere in California or Washington or something. I thought about how to react to this nonsense, but I realize that telling people who are really misinformed but absolutely certain in their beliefs that they’re wrong just makes them dig their heels in harder. Stories like this metastasize and each iteration gets repeated so frequently that people like O’Donnell believe them absolutely.

    I looked it up later and turns out this story about Hillary and the Chinese foreclosing on us originated with Hal Turner, that white supremacist radio host in New Jersey who was just found guilty of threatening federal judges.

  8. Richard Gardner says:

    On the CA Port, he with probably thinking of COSCO (China Ocean Shipping Company) attempting to take over the old Naval Station Long Beach (CA) years ago (1997). Just saying his paranoia has some tentacles to reality. Unfortunately half of the Google searches default to the warehouse club, COSTCO. Decent summary here

    O’Donnell is way out there to me, but so are some Democratic Party incumbents, such as Conyers (MI) and Grayson (FL).

    I doubt she means SECRET (or TS), in accordance with the National Security Act of 1947 – if she does she is liable for prosecution!

  9. DC Loser says:

    From James Fallows:

    ..she made the remarks in a primary-campaign debate — and directed them to a primary opponent who beat her (handily) and another candidate (narrowly) to win the Republican nomination. He is a Harvard Law School graduate and Temple University Law School professor named Jan C. Ting.

    Real classy.

  10. TimFromLA says:

    No duh, Christine O’Donnell. Reagan did it with the Trickle-down economics, Bush Sr did it with Supply-Sided economics. Clinton did it with NAFTA and GATT and Bush did it with CAFTA and the tax breaks. And one of your conservative talk show named Alex Jones host talked about it back in 1997 movie America Destroyed by Design: GAWD YOU’RE SUCH A DIMWIT!!!!!