As GOP Infighting Escalates, New Report Highlights Herschel Walker Spoken “Multiple Times” with NRSC Chair About Senate Campaign

July 29, 2021

Republican infighting over the divided Senate primary field continues to escalate with a fresh round of attacks against Trump’s chosen candidate Herschel Walker. A new report reveals Walker has spoken “multiple times” with NRSC Chair and fellow Trump cheerleader Rick Scott. With Walker unmoved by Republican criticism and “acting like he’s in the driver’s seat,” the Georgia GOP continues to panic over their chaotic field. Here’s the latest: 

McConnell’s Herschel Walker problem

POLITICO Playbook, 7/29/21

  • Take Georgia: While Trump is all but begging NFL legend HERSCHEL WALKER to run against Democratic Sen. RAPHAEL WARNOCK, McConnell views Walker’s complicated personal history as a vulnerability. 
  • HERE’S WHERE IT GETS INTERESTING … Earlier this year, McConnell said he would back candidates who can win, signaling his willingness to put his thumb on the scale in 2022.
  • But Sen. RICK SCOTT (R-Fla.), who now chairs the NRSC, has been very clear that he has no intention of meddling in 2022’s primaries. … He has felt strongly that GOP voters should choose whom they want — much to the chagrin of some institutional Republicans.
  • Defenders of Scott’s hands-off approach argue that wading into primaries simply doesn’t work, and point to the NRSC’s recent history spending a ton of time and money backing people like Georgia Sen. KELLY LOEFFLER over then-Rep. DOUG COLLINS (and losing the seat to Warnock).
  • That means meeting with candidates like Walker, who we’re told has spoken with Scott multiple times about his interest in running for Senate.

While some Republicans wait on Walker, others take fight to Warnock

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 7/28/21

  • Outside of Georgia, the narrative holds that state Republicans are frozen as they wait on Walker to decide whether he will run, as former President Donald Trump has encouraged him to. And that’s true, to a degree.
  • Senior Republicans are raising concerns that Trump’s potential endorsement — he called Walker “unstoppable” and predicted he’ll join the race — has left the state GOP saddled to an unpredictable, untested nominee.
  • In a recent spot on Sean Hannity’s show, he said the negative press “isn’t going to scare me.” “I’m going to do it on my timetable,” Walker said, “and I think that’s what’s making people angry.”
  • He’s acting like he’s in the driver’s seat for a reason. Walker can bide his time because he’d enter the race with sky-high name recognition, a broad fundraising base and a vast following on social media.
  • Republican strategist Heath Garrett said Trump’s endorsement, combined with Walker’s outsider status, would make him the instant front-runner in the GOP primary and position him well for a November matchup against Warnock.
  • One big GOP name after another has sidestepped a contest against Warnock, the charismatic pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church. His old foe, former U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, won’t say whether she’s running but set off chatter in political circles when she recently met with Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell.
  • And U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, a Pooler Republican elected to four terms in Congress, is so wary of a potential Walker run that he’s preparing to join the field only if Walker bows out.
  • “I’m not interested in political suicide,” Carter said. “I ain’t going to run against Herschel Walker in the state of Georgia. I was born at night. But it wasn’t last night.”

Trump booster Herschel Walker skipped voting in 2016 when future president was on the ballot, records show

Washington Examiner, 7/28/21

  • Trump, who left office in January after one term, is pushing Walker to challenge Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in Georgia in 2022.
  • With Trump’s encouragement, Walker, 59, a successful businessman since his playing days ended and personally charismatic, is mulling a bid for Senate but keeping his deliberations private.
  • If the Republican decides to run, he must move his full-time residence to Georgia to be an eligible Senate candidate and submit his extensive business holdings to public scrutiny via federally mandated financial disclosures. 
  • Because Walker has the strong support of the former president, other high-profile Republicans who might run are in a wait-and-see mode, uninterested in running against a Trump-endorsed candidate in the GOP primary.


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