WHAT GEORGIANS ARE SEEING: Walker Banning Press, Hiding from Voters

July 20, 2022

U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker came under scathing criticism last week for kicking press out of an “open to all” campaign event – and Georgians are hearing all about it. 

It’s no wonder why Walker wanted to block press – video from the event caught his “head-scratching” comments about climate policy – and now, voters across the state are hearing about Walker “banning media,” “doubling down” on his policy gaffes, and continuing the “velvet rope regimen of…tightly controlled appearances” that has kept him in hiding from Georgians throughout his campaign.

Here’s what Georgians are seeing and hearing:

FOX 5’s Georgia Gang: “Walker’s campaign really banning media at campaign events” 

  • Lori Geary, Georgia Gang Moderator: “Herschel Walker’s campaign really banning media at campaign events; and also, you know, he’s talking about China getting our good air and us essentially getting their bad air and he’s really doubling down on this. […] Why do you think that they’re just not allowing the media to attend campaign events? I mean, this is earned media for him.”

Savannah Morning News: Herschel Walker is pushing away voters the way he once did tacklers

  • Just over 800,000 Georgians voted for Herschel Walker in the U.S. Senate Republican primary.
  • Many are now feeling voter’s remorse.
  • Walker is losing support with swing voters every time he opens his mouth to speak about climate change, gun rights, Juneteenth, abortion, and on and on.
  • Republicans would have been better served picking one of the other GOP candidates.
  • Walker’s brand, while instantly recognizable, has proven a curse. Instead of introducing and defining the candidate and his platform, the Walker campaign spends its time shielding him from all but the true believers and spinning his nonsensical comments, policy positions and lies.
  • But Walker is beyond help. His handlers can’t continue to hide him away.
  • The decision to remove the media from a recent campaign event held in a public park — and then to blame the organizers, who called their bluff — was unwise. More campaign stop hosts will insist on livestreaming his appearances, as an Atlanta-area GOP group did and where the world heard his hot air about “bad air” and how it moves around the Earth.

AJC: The Jolt: Herschel Walker’s campaign bars press, brings in reinforcements

  • Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker has scarcely changed his approach to the media since running away with the GOP nod in May. He’s largely stuck to a “velvet rope” regimen of private events, tightly controlled appearances and limited-access speeches.
  • That strategy was even more pronounced in the last week as he faced another series of damaging stories that could threaten his credibility. But rather than address the criticism head on, Walker spoke at two events within the last week that barred media access.
  • The first was a Buckhead Young Republicans gathering, which one of your Insiders was told was a “closed, private event.” The second was a Hall County GOP meeting at a public park in Gainesville, where organizers booted WABE’s Rahul Bali from a speech advertised as “open to all.”
  • In both cases, campaign officials said the event organizers set the protocol. But Hall County GOP officials countered that Walker’s aides dictated the no-media policy.

Albany Herald: Win or lose, Herschel Walker’s inadequacy will be revealed in Senate campaign 

  • Let’s get one thing straight right out of the box: Herschel Walker is great.
  • Wait a minute, let’s adjust that a tad: Herschel Walker was great … a great football player.
  • But Herschel Walker the Senatorial candidate is not great. He’s not good. He is, to put it kindly, an embarrassment.
  • And that’s the thing. If Walker had debated in the primary, there would no doubt have been a whole lot of people who would have had second thoughts about voting for him.
  • His handlers have kept him quiet throughout most of this run-up to the election, just letting him get out and sign a few footballs and collect some big checks from these never-weres who want to bask in the glow of his long-ago celebrity. But when he slips up and says something to people who are not sycophants who could not care less if he doesn’t have the ability to spell Senator, his failure to grasp even slightly complex problems is revealed.
  • Like talking about being a valedictorian in high school. Hmmm … no. Like graduating among the tops in his class at UGA. Didn’t graduate. Like forgetting that, oh yeah, I did father a couple of kids that I forgot about. Like finding that magical spray cure for COVID (that sounds a lot like his mentor’s “drink bleach to kill the vaccine” idea). Like staying away from the New Green Deal because it might push all our good clean air to China and make us have to clean up their messy air. Like lying (or terribly misremembering) details about his business that actually preys on veterans rather than helping them.

WABE: “Hall County GOP made it clear…they’d been asked by the Walker campaign to exclude media.”

  • WABE Host: “Republican US Senate candidate Herschel Walker is making the campaign rounds, but apparently reporters are not allowed to attend.
  • “The Hall County GOP held a barbecue Saturday in a public park with signs “Everyone Welcome” where Walker and other candidates spoke. A WABE reporter, though, was asked to leave.
  • “On Twitter, the Hall County GOP made it clear that it was not their decision, but that they’d been asked by the Walker campaign to exclude media. Walker also has not agreed to any debates yet with Senator Raphael Warnock.” 


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