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Oct. 14—MARIETTA — In his first public appearance here, Georgia football great Herschel Walker, who hopes to unseat U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Georgia, in 2022, joined the "Grumpy Old Men" breakfast club and several business owners and community leaders to lay out his stance on a variety of topics at The Red Eyed Mule on Thursday morning.
In the hourlong breakfast roundtable, Walker fielded questions on affordable housing, charter schools, his dismay with the defund the police movement, his concern over the withdrawal from Afghanistan and the importance of his faith.
Walker expressed dismay over what he sees as a movement in this country out to divide people because of their race or other reasons.
"That's not America," he said. "We've come so far as people to have our government, our elected officials that try to separate people, and we can't do that."
Blame should be shared with ourselves for not staying vigilant and holding elected officials accountable, he said.
"We're putting people in office that's not responsible," he said. "If you think about this, some of the stuff we're fighting about today, we've been fighting about it since Jimmy Carter was in office. We haven't changed."
Nothing has been accomplished except what those in Washington, D.C. want, which ends up costing locals more money, he said.
"A lot has changed since Trump left office," Walker said. "Like Trump or not, Trump, he had some policies that were incredible. He said some crazy stuff though. Now he said some crazy stuff, but I said, 'Guys, don't look at what he says, look at what he does.'"
Walker also said it was unfortunate that politics had regressed over the years from working across the political aisle and compromising to "get things done," largely to name-calling.
"You've got to be willing to compromise and communicate. You can never get anything done unless you communicate," he said, noting that politicians used to be able to accomplish tasks over a meal together. "I don't know if they do that today. ... Let's quit this name calling. Let's get things done."
The visit to Marietta was one of several stops Walker is making on a statewide listening tour. Campaign officials said Walker had already stopped in Forsyth, Macon, Dublin and Savannah, and after Marietta, he planned to head to other cities.
Walker aims to meet with community and business leaders, as well as longtime citizens in each area, to understand what issues they want to see addressed in Congress, according to his campaign.
Check back at mdjonline.com for an updated story on all the issues discussed.
Follow Thomas Hartwell on Twitter at twitter.com/MDJThomas.