ABC’s Michael Falcone reports:
The Delaware GOP leader who famously said that Christine O’Donnell couldn’t be elected dog catcher, let alone U.S. Senator, changed his tune over the weekend, but stopped short of offering a resounding endorsement.
Ross, who spent the final weeks before last Tuesday’s primary attempting to shred O’Donnell’s credibility as a candidate, acknowledged in an interview with ABC’s Christiane Amanpour on “This Week” that the “voters have spoken.”
“Now my job is -- whether I like it or not or indifferent -- is to go out there and work just as hard to get each and every Republican that the voters have selected elected in a very difficult environment.”
During the interview Ross lamented the fact that voters pushed aside Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del., the state and national party’s choice to be the GOP Senate nominee, just as “he was about to go over the goal line.”
“I am a partisan political party leader in a very difficult state to win elections,” Ross told Amanpour. “My job is to stand with our endorsed candidate, and I did that, and I’m proud of what I’ve done.”
Ross’s statement after O’Donnell’s win notably did not mention her name, but rather called on members of his party to “to come together and unite over our shared principles.” His words then and now reflect the continuing frustration within the GOP that a Senate race that had been viewed as ripe for a Republican pickup now looks more likely to stay in Democratic hands.
Although O’Donnell is extremely popular with some segments of the party -- she was the toast of the annual Values Voter Conference in Washington this weekend -- getting Republicans to support her has been complicated by the slow leak of eyebrow-raising statements from her past. The most recent revelations -- that she once said being gay is an “identity disorder” and that she “dabbled in witchcraft” have not helped matters.
“I wish Christine hadn’t said that,” Ross said on “This Week,” referring to O’Donnell’s witchcraft admission. “I’m sure at this point, Christine wishes she hadn’t said that.”