Because they view Georgia’s race to be crucial to their chances of securing Senate control, the GOP’s top-spending super-PAC and its campaign arm quickly decided to stick with Walker.
In the wake of the shocking report that the Senate candidate for Georgia’s hotly contested battleground state paid for an abortion in 2009, the National Republicans are trying to defend Herschel.
Walker, who is running for office as an anti-abortion candidate and running as a staunch candidate, denied the account that the woman made in Monday’s story by The Daily Beast. The claims nonetheless upset one of America’s most competitive races. Walker’s son Christian Walker later called his father a liar, and a hypocrite and posted videos and tweets condemning him.
Senator Rick Scott, R.Fla., chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee stood by Walker Tuesday with an aggressive statement in which he called the report a smear without naming the false parts.
“When Democrats lose, like they are now, they lie, cheat, and smear the opposition. This is what’s going on right now. They are aware they are at the brink of losing the Senate and they also know Herschel Walker is winning so they have turned up the smear machines,” Scott stated. “Herschel denies these allegations, and the NRSC/Republicans stand with him. Georgians will also stand with him.”
The Republican super-PAC that spends the most in Senate races is refusing to abandon Walker, who will be challenging Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock for the November election.
Steven Law, president and CEO of the Senate Leadership Fund (an outside spending group closely aligned with Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell), stated that “We are moving at full speed in Georgia.” “This election is about our country’s future — Herschel Walker will make it better, Raphael Warnock makes it worse. Anything else is a distraction.”
Former President Donald Trump had encouraged Walker to run for the Senate seat and posted a Tuesday afternoon statement to his social media sites claiming that Walker was being “slandered” and “maligned.”
“Herschel has denied the charges against himself, and I do not doubt that he is right. They want to destroy a man with true greatness for his future, just like he had athletic greatness from his past,” tweeted Trump. Trump survived an October surprise of his own in 2016’s presidential campaign: the discovery of an old tape from Access Hollywood in which he boasted about sexually assaulting women.
Because of the huge stakes in the Senate race, Georgia’s Republican leaders quickly rallied around Walker’s turbulent candidacy. In 2020, the state was pivotal in giving Democrats the majority. It could also decide the control of the chamber this fall. GOP operatives fear that disowning Walker would be like ceding the race. They see little chance of capturing Georgia’s Senate majority and are growing pessimistic about other opportunities, such as New Hampshire and Arizona.
The Georgia race is neck-and-neck: Walker was outscored by Warnock by 5 points in a poll and Walker by 2 points in a CBS News poll. Both polls were within the margin of error.
The Daily Beast reported Monday that a woman who claimed she was a Walker lover had an abortion at Walker’s request after she became pregnant. Because of privacy concerns, the woman requested anonymity. According to Walker, Walker paid for the procedure. The woman provided the news organization with a receipt and an image of Walker’s check as reimbursement. The Daily Beast reported that the newspaper confirmed the woman’s story to a friend she shared at the time. The Daily Beast has not confirmed the details of this story nor seen the documents. Walker’s campaign reached out to comment and referred to Walker’s tweet calling the report “a flat-out lie” and stating that he will sue the outlet. (The Daily Beast supported the story.
Walker is supported by at least two anti-abortion rights organizations.
“Hershel has denied these allegations in strongest terms and we stand firmly beside him,” stated Mallory Carroll. She is the spokesperson for Women Speak Out PAC. This super PAC is aligned with Susan B. Anthony’s Pro-Life America. “Our Georgia field team has reached more than 310,000 homes in support of pro-life candidates such as Herschel, against Sen. Warnock’s extremism, and for [Democratic nominee to governor] Stacy Abrams. We will continue our efforts through Election Day.”
National Right to Life released a statement Tuesday describing the allegations as “attempted Democratic character Assassinations”.
Some Republicans privately express concern over the abortion allegation.
A national GOP operative spoke out on condition of anonymity to confirm that the report that Walker paid for an abortiful death was “not great” but that it was too soon to tell how voters would react, given his “speckled past.”
Monday’s accusations are just the latest in a string of questions about Walker’s honesty and character. According to police records, he has been accused of threatening Christian Walker’s ex-wife Cindy Grossman, Christian Walker’s mother, and other violent episodes against women that date back to at least 2001. Walker was not criminally charged. Grossman and Walker discussed several incidents in public after Walker’s 2008 memoir, which described his diagnosis with dissociative Identity Disorder (or DID), which was formerly known as multiple personality disorder.
Walker is a regular critic of absentee fathers and also has two children that he did not disclose publicly until this year’s Daily Beast reports. Walker runs on a platform of family values, declaring on his website that it is “pro-life” and “pro-family.”
Walker has been targeted by Warnock’s Democratic allies, who have made Grossman’s threats central to their ads.
There were some signs of concern Tuesday in certain GOP corners despite the special-interest and institutional support for Walker.
“I thought Walker could pull it off, despite his baggage. “I’ll watch what kind of response he mounts. But given text messages tonight by Georgia GOP’ers, they are praying for Dr. Oz’s win,” Erick Erickson tweeted. Erickson is a conservative commentator and influential in Georgia Republican politics. “Walker has not mounted a strong response to any attack. This is brutal, likely a KO.
Martha Zoller is the executive director at Georgia Life Alliance, which is an affiliate of National Right to Life. She said she still has doubts about The Daily Beast’s story but also has questions and concerns. Walker was invited to join her radio show to discuss the topic.
Zoller, a former Republican candidate for Congress, said that Christian Walker’s statements were particularly troubling.
Zoller stated that Walker’s son was telling the truth.
Cody Hall is now an advisor to the Georgia Republican Governor. Brian Kemp, who is focusing on his reelection bid for the Georgia Republican Governor, brushed aside Tuesday’s issue, saying that Kemp is more focused on sharing his record and vision for his second term, with hardworking Georgians and raising the funds necessary to finance the advertising, ground games, and voter turnout operations needed to ensure Republican victories across the board on November 8.
One GOP strategist blamed Trump for his long-standing friendship with Walker. The
former president owned the United States Football League franchise, which Walker used to play in the 1980s.
The strategist said that Trump has not spent any money to help his flawed candidates. He could have spent at least a few dollars to vet them.” It would have saved Trump the embarrassment of what is shaping up to be an extremely bad election night for his candidate.