I’m not sure if Herschel Walker can form a single coherent sentence about any policy, but some of us are more generous than others when it comes to accessing the skillsets and capabilities of the Georgia Republican senatorial candidate.
Speaking to Politico, Brian Robinson, a Republican consultant in Georgia, said of Walker: “He doesn’t speak in beautiful syntax, by any means, but, you know, I think his voters will say what they said about Trump quite often, ‘Well, I know what he was trying to say.’”
Is this why political consultants get paid so much? Robinson’s generosity is almost adorably hilarious. Much as it pains me to write this, ineloquent and generally stupid as Donald Trump is, he is at least an entertainer that can parrot the talking points he consumes hour after hour on conservative TV stations. Being a racist celebrity that heavily trafficked in the habits of white supremacy did wonders for Trump politically.
However, Walker’s performance is far less convincing based on the way the former NFL running back has offered nonsensical answers on a variety of policy issues over the last few months.
Take his recent appearance on “Fox & Friends,” where he stumbled on how to curb mass shootings in the wake of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left at least 19 children and two adults dead.
“We need to get into what happened to him, why, by putting money in mental health. Have people thought about that?” Walker said, referring to the 18-year-old Uvalde gunman. “We’ve gotta get back into prayer. People thinking now praying is bad. No, it’s not bad. We need to pray for things like that. We need to continue to go out and fight, continue to take your constitutional rights away, and I think we can’t do that.”
I imagine plenty of folks do think the chorus of MC Hammer’s “Pray” is the only viable option, but what would Jesus do? Presumably be in favor of passing gun safety legislation. However, when co-host Brian Kilmeade asked Walker where he stands on gun control measures such as universal background checks or raising the age to buy assault weapons from 18 to 21, more verbal stumbling came.
“Well, you know, it’s always been an issue, because as I said earlier on, they wanna score political points ... People see that it’s a person wielding that weapon, you know, Cain killed Abel,” Walker explained. “And that’s the problem that we have. And I said, what we need to do is look into how we can stop those things.”
He continued: “You talk about doing a disinformation, what about getting a department that can look at young men that’s looking at women, that’s looking at their social media? What about doing that, looking into things like that, and we can stop that that way?”
I won’t even pretend to know what this man is referring to, but note that Walker then suggested “putting money into other departments rather than the department that’s wanting to take away your right” only to not specify any agency.
I suppose it was better than the previous answer Walker gave to CNN: “What I like to do is see it and everything and stuff.”
And to be fair, this is technically no less asinine than Louisiana Republican Senator Bill Cassidy telling Vice News that we can’t ban assault weapons because people need to kill feral hogs.
“If you talk to the people that own it, killing feral pigs in the, whatever, the middle of Louisiana. They’ll wonder: ‘Why would you take it away from me?’” Cassidy explained.
Still, in addition to that rambling answer about gun safety, Walker has struggled to answer reporter questions about the bipartisan infrastructure bill and evolution. On the latter issue, Walker spoke of the Bible, and claimed, “If that is true, why are there still apes? Think about it.”
I’ve thought about it, and this is a testament to the legacy of Trump: Dumb men who don’t know anything managing to potentially exploit their celebrity and various strains of prejudice to net positions of power.
Walker did not participate in any GOP primary debates and was criticized about it by many of his opponents.
“Herschel Walker is afraid to debate, he has skipped five debates. There’s been an empty podium at every one of them,” GOP U.S. Senate candidate Latham Saddler said during the campaign.
When asked why, Walker told WJCL 22 News: “One of the things we’ve got to do is get out and meet the people. In a debate, what do you ask, three to four questions? One of the things I have been doing is going around the state of Georgia talking to people, that’s the reason I think I am up in the polls.”
Walker won because he’s famous and a famous bigot boosted his campaign. As nice as that must be for him, it’s embarrassing that Senator Raphael Warnock — to me, one of the most impressive senators to surface in a very long time — is going to face such a difficult reelection bid against someone so uninformed and deceitful and allegedly abusive. Walker’s ex-wife sought a protective order against him in 2005, claiming he was violent and controlling.
At least Warnock now has an opportunity to further highlight Walker’s lack of knowledge about the job he is seeking after challenging Walker to three debates this fall.
“Herschel very much looks forward to debating Raphael Warnock and his lock-step support for Joe Biden’s disastrous policies this fall,” said Walker’s campaign spokesperson, Mallory Blount.
The Walker campaign has not confirmed the number of debates that he will attend, but apparently he is getting help from the likes of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who recently visited him at his campaign HQ. Gingrich says the two talked about “everything from being a candidate to being a senator to thinking about debating Warnock and how to handle debates.”
Walker’s habit of turning to wretched bigots for political guidance makes it difficult to see him as anything besides a GOP prop. Walker would tell you differently, though, professing to be “mad” at Trump for claiming credit for pushing him towards a Senate bid.
“One thing that people don’t know is President Trump never asked me,” Walker said in an interview with Killer Mike on Revolt TV. “I need to tell him that he never asked. I heard it all on television that ‘he’s going to ask Herschel,’ saying Hershel is going to run. President Trump never came out and said, ‘Herschel, will you run for that Senate seat?’”
“So, I’m mad at him, because he never asked, but he’s taking credit that he asked,” Walker added.
During the 2020 presidential campaign, Walker boasted of a 37-year “deep personal friendship” with Trump, defended him against claims of racism and said it “hurt my soul to hear the terrible names that people call Donald.” Around this same time and in the months after, Trump continuously teased Walker running for Senate in Georgia. Trump doesn’t have to ask for something he publicly pushes; the message is clear.
Walker can now potentially coast his way to the Senate, but if he’s yearning to prove he knows what a U.S. senator actually does and why he wants to be one now, it’s time for him to figure out how to string words and statements together by fall.
Warnock is the first Black man elected as senator of Georgia and should not be replaced by a fool intending to waste space.