WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: Herschel Walker “Doesn’t Have The Capacity To Land A Closing Message,” Continues “To Be Hit By Damaging News”

December 3, 2022

AJC: “Walker’s campaign has been beneath Georgia voters”

Washington Post: “Walker doesn’t have the capacity to land a closing message”

New York Times: “Walker has continued to be hit by damaging news”

HuffPost: “A penchant for making comments that range from massively misleading to utterly bizarre”

In the closing days of the runoff election, a wave of news coverage is highlighting how Herschel Walker is unfit to represent Georgia in the U.S. Senate: he “has continued to be hit by damaging news,” has “a penchant for making comments that range from massively misleading to utterly bizarre,” is running a campaign that “has been beneath Georgia voters,” and “doesn’t have the capacity to land a closing message.” 

See for yourself what Georgians are reading about Herschel Walker:

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Herschel Walker’s campaign has been beneath Georgia voters

  • The campaign that Herschel Walker has run for United States Senate has been the near-opposite of heroic, beneath the memories that many Georgians have of him, and beneath the voters he says he wants to represent.

  • Among the many problems with his campaign is the fact that Walker has done the most limited of interviews outside of friendly media. While Brian Kemp, David Perdue, Raphael Warnock and U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene spoke freely and repeatedly to the press, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Walker has been a closed-off outlier.

  • More importantly for voters, this means Walker has only rarely been pressed on questions Georgians might have for him, including on many issues he’d be voting on as a United States senator.

  • We still don’t know where Walker stands on funding the war in Ukraine, for example, or potential cuts to Medicare and Social Security, nor which regulations he’d cut in his promise to reduce government red tape. Which committees would he want to serve on? Who would advise him? Who knows?

  • Along with not talking to the AJC, it’s been nearly two months since Walker has held a press conference and nearly as long since he’s spoken to any outlet outside of the conservative ecosystem. Lately, his staff has imposed a rule that reporters cannot get within 20 feet of the candidate.

  • That’s kept him protected from both the easy questions he might have been asked and the hard ones, especially about his troubled personal background. That includes the “atrocities” he’s been accused of by his son Christian, the three other children he never discussed before the campaign, the two abortions separate women said he paid for… and accusations of abuse from a different ex-girlfriend.

The Washington Post: In Georgia runoff, GOP worries about Walker, Trump and party’s future

  • Republicans have grown increasingly nervous about the final U.S. Senate election of the midterms, a runoff in Georgia that reflects larger concerns over candidate quality, infighting and ties to Donald Trump that loom over the party’s future.

  • “Herschel Walker doesn’t have the capacity to land a closing message,” said Ben Burnett, a Republican podcast host in Georgia and former city councilman in Alpharetta, an Atlanta suburb. “And the affiliation and support that he got from Donald Trump … is still a boat anchor around him with the 5 percent of voters that he couldn’t afford to lose.”

  • In the closing stages of the race here in Georgia, Walker’s personal scandals and meandering comments continue to complicate GOP efforts.

  • Multiple women have accused Walker of domestic violence. Two former girlfriends have claimed that he encouraged them to get abortions despite his support for strict bans… He also has made false claims about his background — at one point suggesting he worked as an FBI agent — and this week drew scrutiny for stating earlier this year that he lives in Texas. Public records showing he took a tax exemption on a Texas property meant for primary residences have fueled further attacks from critics.

  • In Georgia and beyond, GOP infighting has intensified over the past couple of weeks, complicating efforts to present a unified front and message in the runoff. 

The New York Times: In Georgia, Walker’s Pace in the Finish Worries Republican Allies

  • The decision to skip campaigning over the crucial Thanksgiving holiday weekend has Mr. Walker’s Republican allies airing frustrations and concerns about his campaign strategy in the final stretch of the overtime election.

  • His campaign has been one of the most turbulent in recent memory: Mr. Walker was found to have lied or exaggerated details about his education, his business, his charitable giving and his work in law enforcement. He acknowledged a history of violent and erratic behavior, tied to a mental illness, and did not dispute an ex-wife’s accusation of assault. Two women claimed that he had urged them to have abortions, although he ran as a staunchly anti-abortion candidate… He regularly delivered rambling speeches, which Democrats widely circulated with glee.

  • “I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that Herschel Walker might be the most flawed Republican nominee in the nation this year,” said Rick Dent, a media consultant who has worked for candidates from both parties and plans to vote for Mr. Warnock.

  • Mr. Walker has continued to be hit by damaging news. Last week, a county official in Texas confirmed that Mr. Walker filed to receive a tax exemption for his home there, citing the property as his primary residence, even though he was running for office as a resident of Georgia. The news, first reported by CNN, prompted a complaint from Democrats, who have asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the state attorney general to review whether he ran afoul of residency rules.

  • Mr. Walker has not answered questions about the matter; he has largely stopped talking to reporters. He was also notably silent this week as other Georgia Republicans denounced former President Donald J. Trump for hosting Kanye West and Nick Fuentes, two figures who have made racist and antisemitic statements, at his private club in Florida.

  • Republicans acknowledge that the message against Mr. Walker has resonated.

HuffPost: Republicans Deploy The Buddy System To Save Herschel Walker

  • When Herschel Walker participates in nationally televised interviews, he’s often joined by one or two Republican senators who get as much ― and occasionally even more ― speaking time as the candidate who’s actually running for the U.S. Senate in Georgia.

  • Sometimes it seems like Walker can barely get a word in as loquacious GOP senators like Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Ted Cruz (Texas) and Rick Scott (Fla.) dominate the interview, which is almost always conducted by friendly hosts on Fox News.

  • Democrats argue the buddy system Republicans deploy for Walker’s interviews drives home their argument that the former football star, who won the GOP nomination over more experienced politicians largely on the strength of his celebrity as a former college football and NFL star and the backing of former President Donald Trump, is unprepared and unserious.

  • “In the closing days of his campaign, Herschel Walker still refuses to answer Georgians’ questions about his pattern of lies and violent conduct, instead relying on the likes of Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz to do the talking for him,” said Dan Gottlieb, a spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Georgia. “Walker has proven again and again that he is not fit to serve Georgia in the U.S. Senate.”

  • [Walker] is a first-time political candidate with a penchant for making comments that range from massively misleading to utterly bizarre.

  • Few candidates in recent memory have gotten as much help on air and off as Walker.


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