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Reporters Question O'Donnell about Princeton Grad School Claim

4:23 PM, Sep 14, 2010 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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In her $6.9 million gender discrimination lawsuit against her former employer, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell claimed that "ISI violated its promise to allow Miss ODonnell time to take Master's degree classes at Princeton." According to the complaint, due to ISI's actions, "Miss O'Donnell has lost the increased earning power that a Master's degree from Princeton would have created," and this loss of "earning power" cost her "up to $50,000 per year, for three lost years at $150,000."

In fact, her campaign manager acknowledged that O'Donnell did not have her bachelor's degree at the time and only audited one undergraduate class at Princeton. O'Donnell was unable to explain this contradiction when asked about it by CNN's Jessica Yellin:

When CNN asked O'Donnell why the discrepancy about pursuing a masters degree at Princeton she told CNN, "I never claimed that. And it is again, this is one of these false accusations that they are trying to throw out there at the last minute. I was taking an undergraduate course at Princeton University and that has nothing to do with this campaign." She tells CNN this leak is a sign her opponent "is despearate" and "drowning."

Her campaign manager Matt Moran tells CNN she audited an undergraduate course at Princeton and says, "None of this is relevant as far as I'm concerned. We're up against the full weight of the NRSC (the National Republican Senatorial Committee) and the Castle campaign and their media surrogates who have done nothing but try to character assassinate Christine."

If O'Donnell's former employer merely prevented her from taking one audited undergraduate course at Princeton, how did that cost her $150,000 in "earning power"?

O'Donnell was similarly unable to explain the contradiction to RealClearPolitics reporter Scott Conroy:

Asked about a Weekly Standard story, touted to reporters by the Delaware GOP, which accused O'Donnell of falsely implying that she was taking master's degree classes from Princeton in the process of suing a conservative Delaware think tank for wrongfully terminating her, O'Donnell laughed off the question.

"Again, that's a clearly desperate attempt-one last gasping for breath before their campaign dies tomorrow-it's a joke," O'Donnell said. "The Delaware GOP sees that we're taking their power away. It's not about who's going to be in leadership, it's about who the people want in leadership, so they're scared. They're not just fighting for Mike Castle's political career, they're fighting for their political career."

O'Donnell added that her opponents were attacking her personally, since they could not impugn her small-government message.

"I mean there's no truth to that accusation you just read to me; that's the first I'm hearing about it, and it's pretty funny," O'Donnell said. "I sued my former employer, but that has no relevance in this race."

Asked what was untrue about the accusation, O'Donnell said, "You just said ‘lied under oath,' or something like that. I've never done that."

The RCP report continues: "O'Donnell's campaign manager, Matt Moran, told The Hill on Sunday that it was his understanding that neither party involved in the lawsuit was supposed to talk publicly about the case." If that is true, why did O'Donnell tell TWS in a September 2 interview: "I definitely felt that there was gender discrimination"?

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