Herschel Walker has based his Senate campaign around his faith, which includes a belief that abortion is tantamount to murder. It didn’t bode well, then, when The Daily Beast reported on Monday that the Trump-endorsed football star paid for an ex-girlfriend’s abortion. Walker denied the allegation, but his team walked back the idea of filing a defamation lawsuit, his conservative son said he was “lying” about it, and Politico reported on Tuesday that his campaign has known about the issue for months.
Nevertheless, Republicans have lined up to defend him amid the latest entry on a growing list of scandals that just may indicate Walker isn’t quite fit for public office.
Newt Gingrich did so on Tuesday night by leaning on Walker’s history of head injuries. “I think he is the most important Senate candidate in the country because he’ll do more to change the Senate just by the sheer presence, by his confidence, by his deep commitment to Christ,” Gingrich said. “You know, he’s been through a long, tough period. He suffered a lot of concussions coming out of football.”
Speaking of commitments to Christ, Walker’s opponent, Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock, is a pastor at Martin Luther King’s church. Faith only counts if you’re conservative, apparently.
The idea that Walker’s checkered past — one that also includes allegedly holding his wife at gunpoint and threatening to “blow her head off” — should be excused has been a common theme among his defenders. Trump on Tuesday touted Walker’s “athletic greatness” while arguing Democrats are “trying to destroy a man who has true greatness in his future.”
Walker did it himself on Wednesday morning, essentially claiming that anything he may have done in his past is irrelevant because he has been “redeemed.”
“I’ve been redeemed,” he explained to Brian Kilmeade on Fox & Friends. “It’s like they’re trying to bring up my past to hurt me, but they don’t know that bringing up my past only energize me to go out and fight even harder.”
“No one is perfect,” Walker continued. “I’m a sinner. We all sin before the glory of God, but every day I get up in the morning and I pray to God to let me do his will.”
It’s unclear whether Georgians will buy Walker’s position that his past doesn’t matter because he has been saved by God. Voters typically assess candidates based on things like prior qualifications and not lying compulsively about nearly every aspect of their lives — but alas, we do not live in typical times.