Herschel Walker: Dems Dividing Americans by Race, Lying about Economy, Crime

Democratic politicians are lying to the American people about the state of the economy, the threat of rising crime, and the extent of the crisis at the southern border, Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker told supporters at a rally Wednesday night in Augusta.

The former NFL star and University of Georgia football icon, who is in a tight battle with Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock in a race that could determine control of the U.S. Senate, also accused Democrats of trying to divide the American people over race and woke issues. The message being sent by the Left, he said, is that “when you’re white you have to feel sorry because you were born white. When you’re black you have to think you can’t make it.”

Combatting that kind of destructive message is one reason Walker, who is black, said he entered the race.

“Call me what you want to call me. Right is right, and wrong is wrong. It doesn’t matter about the color of your skin,” Walker told the roughly 200 people who attended the Women for Herschel rally. “Everybody in the United States of America can get out and succeed if they’re willing to work. But what they want to do is separate you. They want to divide you. They want to get you fighting among each other. That’s how they conquer.”

Wednesday’s rally was the latest stop in Walker’s “Unite Georgia” bus tour that launched last week. National Review visited a couple of the campaign stops this week to get a better sense of how Walker, a political novice endorsed by former president Donald Trump, is performing.

Walker started speaking a little after 6 p.m. In a roughly 20-minute speech that mixed in personal stories, anecdotes, and jokes, Walker – who describes himself as a kid from a small town in Georgia who’s lived the American dream – spoke about being bullied as a child, and about his early struggles with his weight and with a speech impediment. He talked about his football career, and his efforts to overcome dissociative identity disorder. But mostly he talked about his concerns about the economy, crime, the border, and wokeness.

“They want to get you thinking about something else,” Walker said of Democrats who control Congress and the presidency. “They don’t want to talk about this economy. They don’t want to talk about the drugs. They don’t want to talk about the border.”

Democrats, he said, “are bold face lying to you” about the economy, which isn’t in great shape, with the cost of everything from food to school supplies rising fast. The border isn’t secure, and crime in many American cities, including Atlanta, is “awful,” Walker said. “I won’t even let my wife go to the mall alone. I won’t let her jog alone,” he said.

The country, he said, needs more police officers, not fewer. The government needs to do more for veterans, he said. And he expressed concerns about what he sees as efforts by the Left to spread wokeness in schools, and even in the military. “I can promise you right now, China, Russia, Iran, are not worried about how you identify, pronouns,” Walker said.

After a tough post-primary period, Walker’s campaign has been invigorated by some recent polls that have showed him closing the gap with Warnock, and maybe even pulling ahead.

Throughout the summer polls showed Warnock with a consistent edge. A Quinnipiac poll in late June showed Warnock with a ten-point lead over Walker, who was showing his inexperience with regular campaign trail stumbles and mistakes – exaggerating his business and academic achievements, making seemingly bizarre statements about climate change.

But Walker beefed up his campaign staff over the summer, an effort that seems to be paying off. According to Real Clear Politics, three of the last four major polls in the race have showed Walker with a narrow lead over Warnock. An InsiderAdvantage poll in early September showed Walker up three points in the race, although another Quinnipiac poll this week again showed Warnock with a lead, a six-point advantage this time.

“The race is virtually tied,” Walker told the Augusta crowd, noting the tens of millions of dollars Democrats have poured into the race to defeat him.

Warnock’s camp has argued that Walker has a history of telling lies, making bizarre claims, and exaggerating his business and academic accomplishments, making him unfit to be a senator. They’ve also accused Walker of engaging in scam to promote a Covid-19-killing mist product, having a history of domestic violence, and being out of step with the state on abortion.

Walker and Warnock have been sparring in negative TV ads that have blanketed the state. This week, both agreed to participate in at least one televised debate, scheduled for October 14 in Savannah. Walker said that while Warnock, a prominent Atlanta pastor, is often praised as being “such a good speaker,” he intends to come to the debate prepared. He said he’s often underestimated as a “country boy from Wrightsville.” But, he said, he has an advantage in a debate with Warnock. “He’s got to stand behind what he voted on, 96 percent of the time with Joe Biden,” Walker said, adding at the end, “Senator Warnock may not know, it is time for him to go.”

Susan Malovey, who attended Wednesday’s rally, said she’s met Walker and is impressed with him. “He’s very bright. He’s had businesses. And we need him,” Malovey said.

Like Trump did in 2016, Walker has leaned into his lack of political experience as a plus. Malovey said she doesn’t believe that Walker will be in over his head if he is elected.

“When he does get in there, there will be somebody there that will guide him about what to do, so we don’t need to worry about that,” she said.

Kate Hale, who also attended Wednesday’s event, said she’s supporting Walker because he’s “homegrown,” pointing to his rural Georgia upbringing and his Christian faith, which she relates to. “I know he’s going to do the job that he set out to do,” Hale said.

While most of the people at Wednesday’s rally were already Walker supporters, Eva Maria Foltz is still on the fence. The 25-year-old mother of two, said she came to the rally to “make sure that I’m doing my part as an American citizen to make informed decisions for their purposes and for mine.” She called Walker an “interesting” Republican candidate, but said she worries he’s being “tokenized.” Foltz, who is Latina, said she was interested in hearing Walker’s stance “on inclusivity and race and everything.”

Before the Augusta rally, Walker met with a group of dairy, cattle, and poultry farmers on Tuesday morning at Jaemor Farms in North Georgia to talk about the importance of agriculture to the state’s economy and to the nation. The farmers talked with Walker and state Senator Tyler Harper, the Republican candidate for Georgia agriculture commissioner, about a variety of concerns: rising costs, discouraged young farmers, educating consumers, overregulation, and government interference in markets.

Walker called agriculture a “national security issue.” He told the farmers he didn’t have all the answers, but was willing to listen and learn.

“I didn’t get into this just to be a politician,” he said. “I got into this to help people, and to serve the people of Georgia.”

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