Georgia Republican Senate Candidate Herschel Walker is dealing with some late-election drama on the campaign trail. The Daily Beast published a piece he allegedly paid for his ex-girlfriend’s abortion. To the liberal media, this is a bombshell scandal. To everyone else, we’ve already moved on with our week. First, it’s not a scandal; while it’s hypocritical due to Walker’s pro-life stance, it’s not illegal. Whatever happened here—Walker denies the claim—isn’t a crime. It’s reminiscent of the Access Hollywood tape, where Trump spoke in generalities about grabbing women’s private areas. The liberal media thought this was a bombshell when everyone had made up their minds at that point, which led to the recording having zero effect on the race. Trump had skeletons that we all knew about, as did the Clintons. This Georgia Senate race is the same to some degree: two candidates who might not be saints. Hence, why both camps largely avoided the issue this week (via NBC News):
Another shoe dropped in the unfolding drama involving Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker when The Daily Beast reported Wednesday that the ex-girlfriend whose abortion he is alleged to have paid for in 2009 is also the mother of one of his four children.
But the next day, neither candidate wanted to talk about it.
Walker, who supports a ban on abortion without any exceptions, issued another blanket denial when asked about The Daily Beast’s reporting Thursday, telling reporters after a campaign event in Wadley: “The abortion thing is false. It’s a lie.”
His Democratic opponent, Sen. Raphael Warnock, sidestepped two questions from NBC News here about whether he believes Walker's denials and whether he thinks Georgians can trust Walker. Warnock then pivoted to his support for abortion rights, saying, “The people of Georgia need a senator who will stand with women.”
Warnock and Walker gave their stump speeches at dueling rallies Thursday. Walker spoke of getting his start playing football in Johnson County and then making his way to the University of Georgia and pro football. Warnock mentioned his roots as a Baptist preacher and highlighted his policy achievements over the past two years in the Senate, from the family tax credit in the American Rescue Plan to a highway amendment he co-wrote with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. He said that if he is re-elected he will fight to expand Medicaid in Georgia.
Warnock treaded cautiously when he was asked about those issues.
“What we are hearing about my opponent is disturbing. And I think the people of Georgia have a real choice about who they think is ready to represent them in the United States Senate," Warnock told reporters Thursday, without directly addressing the abortion story.
For Walker, the reasons for avoiding this topic were obvious, but Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock also steered clear of the controversy. There’s no use tempting fate this close to an election. Forget the ‘Bruno Gianelli’ anecdotes about removing kelp from the hulls of sailboats to increase race speed.
There is potentially enough to lose here, even in a state where swing voter elasticity, as FiveThirtyEight calls it, is near non-existent. Everyone in the Peach State falls along partisan lines, and most voters have probably already made up their minds—but a character debate among flawed candidates could depress turnout for Warnock, and that’s not something worth gambling. Latino voters in Nevada are reportedly staying home this cycle, which doesn’t bode well for Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto.
It also might be too late to focus on this controversy anyway since getting out the vote should start to take over election operations with around 30 days until D-Day. Even if that wasn’t the case, would you want to do anything that could unearth your boss’ dark deeds from the grave if you were on Warnock’s crew?
The media is trying to re-insert the abortion debate amid more bad news for Democrats ahead of the 2022 midterms. Did they forget that this is Georgia?