Chris Coons, the Democratic nominee in the Delaware Senate race against controversial Republican nominee Christine O’Donnell, appeared on MSNBC this morning, and responded to two stories that have dogged him during this race: His article from college in which he referred to himself as a “bearded Marxist,” and the recent remarks by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) calling Coons “my pet.”
Chuck Todd read back an excerpt from the article, in which Coons talked about his trip to Kenya: “My friends now joke that something about Kenya, maybe the strange diet or the tropical sun, changed my personality. Africa to them seems a catalytic converter that takes in clean-shaven clear-thinking Americans and sends them back bearded Marxists.”
“Well Chuck, just form the sentence you just read, it’s clearly a joke,” said Coons. “I am a clean-shaven capitalist. That was a tongue-in-cheek term that my former roommates, who were the heads of the Young Republicans on campus — my former roommates had taken to using as just a monicker, a joking name for me. I was the commencement speaker at Amherst college, and that profile was meant to give a brief explanation to my classmates about my transformation from a Young Republican to a Democrat.”As for Reid’s “pet” comment, Savannah Guthrie asked Coons to name a policy where he would differ with Reid or the Obama administration.
“I’m no one’s pet, and I intend to be an independent voice in the United States Senate. That was a very unfortunate choice of words by Senator Reid,” Coons responded. “When the president came out with a proposal for offshore drilling, I opposed it the next day. it was a wrong idea for Delaware, and it’s wrong for the United States. I strongly disagree with how the banking bailouts were handled. I think the TARP bill, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, was passed in a hurry without any accountability, and hasn’t been administered properly. So there’s two examples that I would disagree.”
The TPM Poll Average gives Coons a lead of 53.7%-39.3%