#GASEN Year in Review: Herschel Walker and the Messy GOP Race for #GASEN

December 23, 2021

While Herschel Walker contends with a GOP “political civil war” looming over his campaign, Republicans continue to take aim at the Trump-tapped candidate for all his missteps in Georgia’s messy GOP Senate primary. From being called out for making false claims about his business record and personal background to defending the swastika as a symbol of the anti-vaccine movement, Walker is rounding out a rocky 2021 in Georgia’s Senate race. Meanwhile, Walker and the entire GOP Senate field have come out in opposition to creating jobs and boosting the economy with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, in opposition to protecting the fundamental right to vote with federal voting rights legislation, and in favor of banning abortions — even in cases of rape or incest.

Catch the 2021 highlights from Walker’s messy campaign for #GASEN below: 


  • Walker’s checkered past and sketchy business dealings are put on display. Before even entering the race, the Associated Press shined a light on Walker’s threatening behavior toward women and inflation of his personal business record, with associates calling him a “temperamental and unreliable business partner.
  • Mitch McConnell and the Washington GOP establishment desperately tried to keep him out of the race with orchestrated negative stories. One month before Walker announced, Senate GOP leadership weighed in on a story asserting they’d “prefer to have somebody else” in the Senate race rather than Walker.


  • “What [Walker’s] doing is, he’s breaking the law.” Within days of entering the race on August 24, 11Alive reported that Walker’s campaign had already potentially “violated the law by spending money as a political candidate before officially declaring his candidacy,” and a formal complaint was filed with the FEC requesting a swift investigation into his violations in the leadup to his Senate entrance. 
  • “Walker is a serial promoter of false 2020 conspiracy theories.” As CNN reported in August, Walker used his platform to spread false conspiracy theories and throw lighter fluid on the disinformation that inspired the deadly event — even calling for Trump and his allies to conduct a “total cleansing” two days before the January 6 insurrection:


  • Walker’s very first campaign event in Georgia was a private fundraiser with high-dollar donors — not everyday Georgians.  In September, Walker made his first appearance as a candidate in Georgia’s U.S. Senate race — not with a crowd of Republican voters at a major GOP event open to the public, but instead with a handful of high-dollar conservative donors at a closed-door fundraiser — infuriating local Republican activists. 
  • Republicans fret about Walker’s tightly controlled, closed-door campaign rollout. As Walker opted for closed-door mega-fundraisers and Fox News spots over talking directly to voters, the Georgia GOP has become increasingly frustrated with his campaign. Republicans including 2020 Senate candidate Doug Collins, Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan, and fellow Senate candidates Latham Saddler and Gary Black have since criticized Walker for having “not outlined a clear rationale” for running.
  • Walker brags that Trump will be his campaign’s ‘couch quarterback’ while Trump brags that Walker is running “at my behest.” On Fox & Friends, Walker told the hosts that Trump would serve his campaign as the “quarterback sitting on a couch, watching me play,” and admitted that he had no hesitation to run for Senate because “I trust Donald, I trust the President, I trust him so much.” Meanwhile, the former president took credit for Walker’s candidacy in September, noting “[Walker] did this at my behest” — reaffirming that his campaign has less to do with fighting for Georgians and more to do with pleasing Donald Trump.



  • Black goes “scorched earth” on Walker, calling the candidate’s history of domestic violence “disqualifying” and stating that “Georgians won’t tolerate an abuser of women.” Black, who has nabbed endorsements from key Georgia Republican leaders, took direct aim at Walker’s “disqualifying” history in his “most scathing attacks yet,” while dismissing the decision by McConnell and other Republican U.S. senators to endorse Walker as a “tremendous miscalculation.
  • Walker dodges a GOP debate forum. Three of the four top GOP U.S. Senate candidates participated in a debate hosted by WSB’s Shelley Wynter. But as the AJC notes, Walker was a “no-show.”
  • Walker and the entire GOP Senate field opposed the bipartisan infrastructure deal for Georgia. Every single GOP Senate candidate, including Walker, opposed the bipartisan plan to create good-paying Georgia jobs, help American companies compete against China, and rebuild our roads, bridges, and public transportation. 


“Four months into his Senate campaign, Walker has only managed to get Georgians’ attention by avoiding their questions, lying about his accomplishments, and standing on the wrong side of every issue Georgians care about,” said Dan Gottlieb, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Georgia. “While Walker’s campaign continues to create headaches for Republicans, Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock and Georgia Democrats continue to focus on what matters most: rebuilding our infrastructure, expanding access to health care, and delivering relief for hardworking Georgians in every corner of the state.”


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