ICYMI: CNN: “Walker as recently as August indicated he opposed exceptions to abortion, contrary to debate claim”

October 19, 2022

This week, Herschel Walker tried to lie to Georgians about his consistent support for making abortion illegal with “no exception[s].” But new reporting from CNN found Walker has already said multiple times — on camera — he supports no exceptions, even in cases of cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.

Read and watch the full report here: 

CNN: Herschel Walker claims he never said ‘no exceptions’ on abortion. He did, on video

By Daniel Dale, October 19, 2022

Daniel Dale: He said it on camera. Now he’s denying he ever said it. For at least the second time this midterm campaign, Herschel Walker is claiming he never made a comment that there was video proof of him making. The latest is about abortion. Walker, a Georgia Republican who’s running for the U.S. Senate said during a debate last week against Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock that he is against abortion but is willing to support exceptions to abortion bans.

Debate Moderator: You’ve been vocally pro-life, supporting a ban on abortions without exceptions. Would you support a complete ban on a national level?

Herschel Walker: First of all, that’s not true either. I say I support the heartbeat bill. And I said that has exceptions in it.

Daniel Dale: Then NBC’s Kristen Welker reminded Walker in an interview that earlier in the campaign, he had said he opposed all exceptions.

Kristin Welker, NBC: Early in this race though, you’d indicated you don’t want any exceptions. The Heartbeat Bill does have—

Herschel Walker: No, no, no. I said I’m for life. I never said I didn’t have an exception.

Daniel Dale: But he did say no exceptions, alright. On camera during the Republican primary campaign in May. Watch this:

Sam Gringlas, WABE: Would you support a more total ban on abortion with fewer exceptions?

Herschel Walker: There’s no—there’s no exception in my mind, I can say I believe in life. 

Sam Gringlas, WABE: So no exceptions?

Herschel WalkerNo exceptions.

Daniel Dale: And CNN has obtained another video from an event in August, where Walker reiterated his ‘no exception’ stance. 

Herschel Walker: I believe in life. And I said if anyone wants to have an exception, I said, ‘Not in my book.’ I said, I’m sorry. I feel bad for anyone that’s a victim of any kind of crime. I do. I feel like that. That is terrible and it’s horrible, but we deal with that as it comes. 

Daniel Dale: Walker’s campaign told CNN “As Herschel said in the debate, as Senator he would support what the people want because the Dobbs decision returned the issue to the states.” The campaign did not respond to a question about Walker’s comments in the debate about his support for exceptions in abortion laws, despite his previous comments to the contrary.

Daniel Dale: Regardless, there’s even more evidence that no exceptions was indeed Walker’s abortion stance earlier in his run for Senate. A Georgia anti-abortion group sent out a questionnaire that asks candidates what exceptions they support. Walker did not check off any of them, indicating he supports none of them. In summary, Walker’s denial to NBC is plain false, as Amanda Terkel of HuffPost pointed out before I did. 

Daniel Dale: Warnock has accused Walker of having a problem with the truth. Denying he ever said things he said on tape certainly doesn’t help Walker shake off that assertion.

CNN: Walker as recently as August indicated he opposed exceptions to abortion, contrary to debate claim

By Dan Merica, October 19, 2022

  • Georgia Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker said as recently as August that he opposes any exceptions to a ban on abortion, despite stating the opposite during his first and only debate against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock last week.
  • The comment is the latest in a string of examples of Walker attempting to walk back his strict position on abortion, an issue that has become a flashpoint in this year’s midterms after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.
  • During Friday’s debate, Walker said that he supports Georgia’s law, which bans abortions after about six weeks but makes exceptions for cases of rape or incest, pending a timely police report, and in some cases where the pregnant person’s health is at risk. And when the moderator asked about his support for a national ban on abortions without exceptions, Walker shot back, “That’s not true.”
  • In an August forum, however, Walker was asked about how he responds to people angry over the Supreme Court’s decision. Although the audio is at times difficult to hear, Walker indicated that if people wanted exceptions to stringent abortion laws, he was opposed.
  • “So, I said, ‘I believe in life.’ I believe in life. And I said, you know, if anyone wants to have an exception, I said, ‘Not in my book,’” Walker said. “I said, ‘I’m sorry. I feel bad for anyone that’s a victim of any kind of crime.’ I do. I feel like that. That is terrible and that’s horrible, but we deal with that as it comes.”
  • He added: “But right now, to say that it is OK for a woman to kill her baby when they said, ‘Thou shall not kill,’ and I said, ‘I can’t square, I can’t get around that.’ So, I will always vote for what my religious beliefs tell me. … Not what people tell me to do just to go along to get along.”
  • The comments came during an African American Voices of the Faith and Freedom Coalition roundtable with Walker in Austell, Georgia, on August 22. Ralph Reed, the founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, along with a range of other faith leaders, joined Walker for the roundtable.
  • The issue has become particularly potent for Walker, who now faces allegations that he paid for a woman to terminate her pregnancy and then, two years later, asked her to have the procedure a second time. CNN has not independently verified the claims and Walker has firmly denied them.
  • Although many Republicans have sought to soften their positions as the general election approaches, Walker has been one of the most blatant, at times claiming not to have said what he said on camera.
  • In an interview after the debate, NBC’s Kristen Welker told Walker, “Early in this race, though, you had indicated you don’t want any exceptions.”
  • “No, no, no,” Walker said in response. “I said, I am for life. I never said I don’t have any exceptions. I said I am for life.”
  • In addition to the roundtable in August, Walker told reporters in May, “There’s no exception in my mind.” “Like I say, I believe in life. I believe in life,” Walker added.
  • Earlier this year, Walker indicated in a questionnaire from a Georgia anti-abortion group that he supported no exceptions to stringent abortion laws. The group asked candidates whether Walker believed abortion “should be illegal,” for which the candidate checked yes. And then when asked for the exceptions he supported, Walker did not check any, indicating he supports none of them.
  • “I am 100% pro-life,” Walker wrote under the section’s “other” option. “As Georgia’s next Senator, I will vote for any legislation which protects the sanctity of human life, even if the legislation is not perfect. Every human life is valuable and absolutely worth saving.”
  • Warnock has been reticent to attack Walker over the abortion allegations against him, but during the debate last week, the Democrat used a broad attack to question Walker’s honesty.
  • “We will see time and time again, as we have already seen, that my opponent has a problem with the truth,” Warnock said. “And just because he says something doesn’t mean it’s true.”
  • Warnock, who supports abortion rights, also used the debate to repeat an argument he’s made on the trail: “A patient’s room is too narrow and small and cramped for a woman, her doctor, and the US government. … I trust women more than I trust politicians.”


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