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Christine O'Donnell Calls Extending Unemployment Benefits a "Tragedy"

Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell waves before giving her concession speech to supporters, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010, in Dover, Del. (AP Photo/Rob Carr)
Rob Carr
Former Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell
Rob Carr

Updated: 2:24PM ET

In remarks during a Virginia Tea Party appearance on Tuesday, former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell called the recent extension of unemployment benefits a "tragedy," which she likened to the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the death of Elizabeth Edwards.

"Today marks a lot of tragedy," O'Donnell said. "Tragedy comes in threes. Pearl Harbor, Elizabeth Edwards's passing and Barack Obama's announcement of extending the tax cuts, which is good, but also extending the unemployment benefits."

"The reason I say this is a tragedy is because his announcement of economic recovery was more of a potpourri of sound bytes," O'Donnell continued. "It's like he took a little bit of what each party wanted and put it together. It's not a solid plan constructed on sound economic principles."

When questioned by reporters about her use of the word "tragedy," O'Donnell backtracked, saying the "tragedy" to which she had meant to refer was a flaw in Mr. Obama's logic.

"If we're going to extend the jobless benefits we have got to cut spending programs, and that's the flaw in his announcement," she said, according to the Hill. "That's the tragedy."

After the event, O'Donnell also told reporters that she is in the process of forming an issue-oriented Political Action Committee - a move that marks another recent effort to raise her political profile in the coming election cycle.

"It's in the works right now," O'Donnell said. "The sooner, the better, so we can be more vocal."

O'Donnell differentiated the tentatively-titled "ChristinePAC" from Sarah Palin's "SarahPAC" - which the former Alaska governor launched following her vice presidential loss - by emphasizing the focus of the PAC would be promoting issues rather than candidates.

"The purpose of my PAC is not getting behind individual candidates but more so issues," O'Donnell said. "I talked about repealing the death tax but also Obamacare."

According to the Wilmington News Journal, O'Donnell said her PAC would enable her to endorse candidates, make independent expenditures to particular races, lobby on issues, and do the things "that other activist organizations have the handcuffs on because of the IRS" like "lobby against the death tax."


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