Walker Facing Wave of Criticism for Latest Gaffes, Lies, and “Head-Scratching Comments”

September 2, 2022

GOP Senate candidate Herschel Walker is facing a wave of criticism on multiple fronts for his latest “series of head-scratching comments,” embarrassing gaffes, and flat-out lies. From claiming that the Inflation Reduction Act doesn’t help Americans because “a lot of money, it’s going to trees” and “we have enough trees” to showing off a laminated “Special Deputy Sheriff Badge” to bolster his fake law enforcement ties to claiming inflation affects women more than men because “they gotta buy groceries,” Walker is proving every day he is not ready to represent Georgians.

Catch up on the latest Walker controversies below:

Walker showed off a laminated piece of paper claiming to have “proudly serve[d] the blue as an Honorary Agent and Special Deputy Sheriff” — despite his widely-publicized lies about serving as a law enforcement officer and FBI agent — prompting widespread mockery for attempting (and failing) to “mislead voters.

Huffington Post: Herschel Walker Posts Honorary Deputy Badge Because He Apparently Likes Being Mocked

David Moye, 8/30/22

  • On Tuesday, the former football player attempted to paint his Democratic opponent, Sen. Raphael Warnock, as soft on crime by posting a photo of what appears to be a special deputy sheriff card reportedly given to him by the Cobb County Sheriff’s Department
  • Except the card isn’t really bonafide.
  • The Cobb County Courier noted last year when former Atlanta Hawk basketball player Dominique Wilkins received the special deputy sheriff title that honorees don’t have arresting powers rather recipients are considered “a community liaison and partner.”

MSNBC: Herschel Walker voluntarily brings up a subject he ought to avoid

Steve Benen, 8/31/22

  • In his tweet on the subject, the first-time candidate said he was “proud to serve the blue,” in reference to law enforcement, and included an image of a certificate in which he was described as an “honorary” agent.
  • But Walker’s pride notwithstanding, voluntarily renewing interest in one of his more glaring vulnerabilities was unwise.
  • As we discussed a few months ago, Walker repeatedly lied to the public about having a law enforcement background. In one speech, for example, Walker told a U.S. Army audience about a 2001 incident. “I worked in law enforcement, so I had a gun,” he claimed. In 2017, he specifically said, “I work with the Cobb County Police Department.”
  • The evidence suggests otherwise. The Cobb County Police Department told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution it has no record of Walker working with the department. The Republican’s campaign said he was “an honorary deputy” — a point the Cobb sheriff’s office could not confirm — though a former DeKalb County district attorney said the title was meaningless, even if true.
  • Being an “honorary deputy,” a local prosecutor said, is like having “a junior ranger badge.”
  • As recently as 2019, Walker also told an audience, “I spent time at Quantico at the FBI training school. Y’all didn’t know I was an agent?”
  • Walker has never been an FBI agent. His campaign said he spent a week at an FBI school in Quantico, but a week does not an agent make. (He couldn’t have been an agent anyway, since agents are required to have college degrees, and Walker doesn’t have one, even though he’s claimed otherwise.

Walker is facing another wave of criticism after claiming that the Inflation Reduction Act doesn’t help Americans because “a lot of money, it’s going to trees” and “we have enough trees.” 

WSAV: Walker Comments on Inflation Reduction Act 

  • WSAV Reporter: “Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker is making headlines for his comment on climate change and the passage of the inflation Reduction Act.
  • “The package includes nearly $370 billion of spending on climate change and energy. A billion of that money will go toward the urban and community forestry Assistance Program.
  • “Walker responded by saying in part, ‘A lot of the money is going into trees. We’ve got enough trees. Don’t we have enough trees around here?’”  

MSNBC: GOP Candidate Says There Are Too Many Trees

Ari Melber, 8/24/22

  • Herschel Walker: “They continue to try to fool you like they’re helping you out, but they’re not. They’re not helping you out, because a lot of the money is going to trees. You know that, don’t you? It’s going into trees. We’ve got enough trees. Don’t we have enough trees around here?”
  • Ari Melber: “Republican candidate Herschel Walker heard there asking the big question. Do we have enough trees?
  • “There has been a spike in trees thanks to the lumber industry on Earth, but the larger question may be whether human impact is making the earth less inhabitable as President Biden signs that climate program over the no votes of every Republican in Congress so we welcome Bill Nye the Science guy.
  • “Your thoughts on the tree question and more importantly the climate?”
  • Bill Nye: “Well, it’s … part and parcel of same thing. Mr. Walker I’m sure is passionate, but the places where we need trees are in the same places where lower income people live and this gets into the inherent problems associated with low income people and their neighborhoods, and so on. And part of the inflation Reduction Act is to plant trees in urban areas. This is not what the main part of the bill is, but it is a feature Mr. Walker.

The Washington Post: Walker, criticizing climate law, asks: ‘Don’t we have enough trees around here?’

John Wagner, 8/22/22

  • Georgia Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker is criticizing the sweeping climate, health-care and deficit-reduction bill signed into law by President Biden arguing that it includes wasteful spending to combat global warming and asking, “Don’t we have enough trees around here?”
  • The former NFL football player, who was encouraged to run by former president Donald Trump, has made a series of head-scratching comments that have drawn ridicule. In a July 9 appearance, he spoke about climate change, suggesting that Georgia’s “good air decides to float over” to China, replacing China’s “bad air,” which goes back to Georgia, where “we got to clean that back up.”
  • In an appearance Sunday, according to an account by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Walker reiterated his opposition to the Inflation Reduction Act, signed by Biden last week, that invests in curbing global warming, among other things.
  • “They continue to try to fool you that they are helping you out. But they’re not,” Walker said. “Because a lot of money, it’s going to trees. Don’t we have enough trees around here?”
  • The Walker campaign had no immediate comment on Monday.
  • The Journal-Constitution reported that Walker spoke after an event Sunday with the Republican Jewish Coalition in Sandy Springs, Ga.
  • Warnock’s campaign did not comment on Walker’s remarks, but Dan Gottlieb, a spokesman for the Georgia Democratic Party, told The Washington Post that they show that Walker is unprepared to serve in the Senate.
  • “The few policies Walker can articulate, like his support for a nationwide abortion ban and opposition to legislation to reduce drug costs for seniors, are harmful to Georgians. But his inability to demonstrate even the most basic understanding of other key issues shows he isn’t ready to represent Georgia in the U.S. Senate,” Gottlieb said.
  • In June, Walker faced a string of controversies, including that he has two sons and a daughter with different women whom he had not spoken about publicly.
  • The Journal-Constitution debunked previous claims by Walker that he had worked in law enforcement and had been an FBI agent. The Daily Beast reported that Walker had a 10-year-old son out of wedlock whom he hadn’t discussed publicly. The left-leaning news site reported that Walker had another 13-year-old son with a different woman as well as an adult daughter he fathered as a college student. Walker has spoken on the campaign trail about his close relationship with another son, 22-year-old Christian.
  • Walker, who in the past has chided absentee Black fathers, confirmed the Daily Beast’s reporting and said he never hid his other children.
  • “I have four children. Three sons and a daughter. They’re not ‘undisclosed’ — they’re my kids,” Walker said in a statement sent to The Washington Post. “Saying I hide my children because I don’t discuss them with reporters to win a campaign? That’s outrageous. I can take the heat, that’s politics, but leave my kids alone.”

Walker is also getting heat for a passing sexist comment — claiming inflation affects women more than men because “they gotta buy groceries.”

The Daily Beast: Herschel Walker Thinks Inflation Sucks for Women Because ‘They Gotta Buy Groceries’

Isabel Rupp, 9/1/22

  • Herschel Walker, the former NFL running back hoping to become a senator for Georgia this fall, has put his foot in it… again. 
  • At a town hall and lunch for women on August 19 in Wrightsville, he said that inflation affects women more than men because “they gotta buy groceries.” 
  • In a clip from the event that re-surfaced this week, he listed crime, the economy, and gas prices as what he thought were the key issues for women. 


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