A bombshell report alleging Herschel Walker paid for an abortion has upended the race for U.S. Senate in Georgia.
A bombshell report alleging college football legend Herschel Walker paid for an abortion in 2009 is roiling the race for U.S. Senate in Georgia and could potentially cost Republicans control of the Senate.
- An unidentified woman told The Daily Beast Walker encouraged her to get an abortion after they conceived a child while they were dating in 2009.
- She provided a receipt from the abortion clinic, a “get well” card from Walker, and a bank receipt of a signed check from Walker allegedly reimbursing her for the cost of the abortion to bolster her allegation.
- Walker supports a national ban on abortion, has said there’s “no excuse” to get an abortion, and has described the procedure as “a woman killing her baby.” He vehemently denied the report as a “flat-out lie.”
- Republicans quickly closed ranks behind Walker. Top G.O.P. campaign groups dismissed the allegation as a distraction and pivoted to attacking Democrats and the media.
- Christian Walker, Walker’s son and a conservative microcelebrity in his own right, released a series of videos in response to the report.
- Walker called his father a “liar” and a “family values” hypocrite who “has four kids [with] four different women [and] he wasn’t in the house raising one of them.”
- Herschel Walker tweeted a short response to his son’s online attacks: “I LOVE my son no matter what.”
- Walker’s opponent, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, consistently posts titanic fundraising hauls – he raised $26 million in just the last three months – and has maintained a slight lead in the RealClearPolitics polling average.
- Should neither candidate secure a majority of the vote on Election Day, the top-two finishers will compete in a December runoff.
- The New York Times sent a white reporter to Georgia to write an article claiming Walker “forgot where he came from” and criticized Walker for not getting involved in a civil rights dispute in his hometown when he was 18 years old.
- POLITICO reported Walker’s campaign was aware of the abortion allegation months before the Daily Beast reported on it and it was “well known” within Georgia political circles.
- The Daily Beast covered Christian Walker’s attacks on his father. Christian Walker tweeted, “I know my mom and I would really appreciate it if my father Herschel Walker stopped lying and making a mockery of us. You’re not a “family man” when you left us to bang a bunch of women, threatened to kill us, and had us move over 6 times in 6 months running from your violence.”
- The Washington Examiner shared a clip of Walker being grilled by Fox News’s Brian Kilmeade on the abortion allegation and his son’s attacks on his character.
- National Review reported major pro-life organizations and top Republican leaders have “doubled-down” in their support for Walker’s campaign.
- Breitbart reported the Walker campaign experienced a fundraising surge after the Daily Beast story broke.
A late-breaking hit like the Walker abortion story (likely the product of opposition research shopped to the press from a rival campaign) could make the difference in a closely divided state like Georgia. An “October surprise” like the abortion story is designed to throw the race into turmoil and put one’s opponent on the back foot in the last weeks of the campaign – see also, the “Access Hollywood” tape from the 2016 presidential election.
While an “October surprise” could happen even to veteran politicians (e.g., the George W. Bush DUI report days before the 2000 election), previously unknown information coming to light at the worst possible moment is a risk all first-time candidates run as they have not been previously vetted by the media scrutiny of a statewide or national campaign.
Georgia has a deep bench of statewide and congressional Republicans who were all pushed aside when Walker announced his candidacy with former President Donald Trump’s support. Walker is just one of several Trump-backed rookie statewide candidates – like Kari Lake, Doug Mastriano, J.D. Vance, and Blake Masters – underperforming in the polls compared to past Republican performances in their states. In one month, we’ll know if Trump’s risky bets pay off – or cost Republicans control of the Senate and key governorships.
© Dominic Moore, 2022