Both the O’Donnell campaign and the National Organization for Women have condemned the Gawker story by an anonymous man recounting an alleged sexual encounter he had with Republican senate candidate Christine O’Donnell a few years ago.
“This story is just another example of the sexism and slander that female candidates are forced to deal with. From Secretary Clinton, to Governor Palin, to soon-to-be Governor Haley, Christine’s political opponents have been willing to engage in appalling and baseless attacks — all with the aim of distracting the press from covering the real issues in this race,” said O’Donnell campaign communicators director Doug Sachtleben in a Facebook note.
“Such attacks are truly shameful, but they will not distract us from making our case to Delaware voters — and keeping the focus on Chris Coons’ record of higher taxes, increased spending, and as he has done again here, breaking his promises to the voters,” Sachtleben concluded.
“Sexist, misogynist attacks against women have no place in the electoral process, regardless of a particular candidate’s political ideology,” said NOW president Terry O’Neill in a statement.
“NOW repudiates Gawker’s decision to run this piece. It operates as public sexual harassment. And like all sexual harassment, it targets not only O’Donnell, but all women contemplating stepping into the public sphere,” O’Neill added. “NOW/PAC has proudly endorsed women’s rights champion Chris Coons, O’Donnell’s opponent in the Delaware Senate race, and finds O’Donnell’s political positions dangerous for women. That does not mean it’s acceptable to use slut-shaming against her, or any woman.”
Gawker’s decision to run the story, reportedly paying the anonymous writer a sum in the low four figures, was condemned by journalists across the political spectrum.
UPDATE: The Daily Caller has reported that the Coons campaign has also condemned the story. “It’s cowardly and despicable that they would publish this garbage,” said campaign spokesman Daniel McElhatton.