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Meghan McCain: GOP Senate candidate O'Donnell perceived as 'nut job'

By Thomas Ferraro
Monday, October 18, 2010; 1:04 AM

U.S. Sen. John McCain's daughter said Sunday that Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell of Delaware, a tea party favorite, is seen by many young Republicans "as a nut job."

"Christine O'Donnell is making a mockery of running for public office," Meghan McCain said of her father's fellow Republican, who recently ran an ad declaring, "I'm not a witch."

Appearing on ABC's "This Week," McCain said O'Donnell "has no real history, no real success in any kind of business."

"And what that sends to my generation is one day, you can just wake up and run for Senate, no matter how [little] experience you have," said McCain, 26, author of the recently released book, "Dirty Sexy Politics."

O'Donnell stunned the Republican establishment in September when she defeated Mike Castle, a two-term governor and longtime member of the U.S. House of Representatives, to win the Republican U.S. Senate nomination from Delaware.

O'Donnell prevailed with the help of the conservative tea party movement and Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor who was John McCain's running mate in the 2008 White House race.

Meghan McCain, who became known for her online chronicle of daily life on her father's failed presidential campaign, ripped into O'Donnell's candidacy.

"It scares me for a lot of reasons, and I just know in my group of friends," she said, "it just turns people off, because she's seen as a nut job."

O'Donnell has been the beneficiary of an anti-Washington environment fanned by the tea party and voter anger about the weak economy. John McCain swung to the right on a number of issues this year to beat back a primary challenge in his reelection bid in Arizona. He is strongly favored to win in the general election next month.

- Reuters

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