Christine O'Donnell: I'm Done with National Media

AP

Christine O'Donnell
AP

Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell on Tuesday night announced on Fox News that she would no longer do interviews with national media outlets.

"It's off the table because that's not going to help me get votes," O'Donnell told Fox News' Sean Hannity. "I'm not going to do any more national media because this is my focus: Delaware's my focus, and the local media's my focus, and it's frustrating because I've let the local media know they're my priority but our phones are ringing off the hook that they can't get to me. It's actually become an interference with the campaign."

After pulling off a surprise victory in the Republican primary, the Tea Party-backed candidate heads into the general election trailing Democratic candidate Chris Coons in the polls. She has faced scrutiny from her opponents and the media over both odd statements she made in the past as well as her questionable personal finances. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, another Tea Party favorite who endorsed O'Donnell in the primary, warned the Delaware conservative that the national media was "seeking your destruction."

"Governor Palin is right," O'Donnell said. "It's interfering with my ability to campaign."

O'Donnell appeared at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. last week but canceled appearances scheduled for last Sunday on CBS News' "Face the Nation" and "Fox News Sunday."

O'Donnell called the focus on her past, strange remarks, such as saying she "dabbled into witchcraft," a diversion from the real issues.

"My focus is on what's important to the people of Delaware," O'Donnell said. She went on to say, however, that the "stark contrast" between herself and her Democratic opponent Chris Coons was demonstrated by the fact that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Coons his "pet."

"You kind of have to wonder what sort of strange conversations lead to Harry Reid calling him his pet," she said.

While the media has reported on O'Donnell's past remarks, her opponents have more strictly focused on her financial issues. The Democratic Party's first ad against her says she "hired employees she didn't pay" and "didn't pay her taxes."

O'Donnell acknowledged on Fox that she fell behind on her mortgage payments and ultimately sold her house. The IRS imposed a $11,00 tax lien on the house, which O'Donnell said was the result of a "computer error." The candidate explained that she fell behind on her mortgage payments because she was working pro bono for a client on life support.

The Democrats' attacks against O'Donnell mirror those that the Republican Party launched against her during the primary. While the national GOP has fallen behind O'Donnell, her primary opponent, Rep. Mike Castle, has not endorsed her.

O'Donnell said they spoke on Friday.

"It was a very friendly conversation. And I'm hoping to get his endorsement," she said. "We need to unite the party in order to move forward."

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Stephanie Condon is a political reporter for CBSNews.com. You can read more of her posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.

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