GA – WARNER ROBINS – ads featuring the candidates’ former spouses. The word “liar” was shouted in both directions. Stories about an unsanitary apartment complex and forced abortions. questioning the independence of a rival. His knowledge. His capacity for thought. His spirituality.
As the runoff election on December 6 draws near, the bitterness of the protracted Senate campaign in Georgia between Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock and his Republican opponent, football legend Herschel Walker, has increased.
In stark contrast to two years ago, when the state’s twin runoff elections were largely about which party would control the chamber in Washington, Democrats are already guaranteed a majority in the Senate.
Herschel Walker “majors in lying,” according to Warnock, who recently told supporters in central Georgia that Walker isn’t serious and doesn’t understand the fundamentals of public policy. “However, this election is very important. Do not mix up those two concepts.
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Warnock, the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, is portrayed by Walker as a “hypocrite” who is subservient to Vice President Joe Biden. Walker calls the incumbent “Scooby-Doo,” complete with an impression of the cartoon hound’s gibberish, to emphasize the insult.
The candidates’ ferocious efforts to convince their core supporters to vote again during the four weeks between the general election on November 8 and the runoff are reflected in the broadsides. Walker also hopes to attract more moderates and independents to his campaign after falling behind Gov. Brian Kemp, a fellow Republican on the ticket, by 200,000 votes.
Out of nearly 4 million votes cast in the first round, Warnock led Walker by 37,000 votes, but the senator fell short of the 50% mark required to avoid a runoff.
In many ways, the change from his first runoff campaign—a simple choice between two candidates—is exactly what Warnock desired. Two years ago, as control of the Senate hung in the balance, then-President Donald Trump and then-president-elect Joe Biden made several trips to Georgia to highlight the national stakes of the contests between Warnock and Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Sen. David Perdue.
Trump’s false allegations of a rigged 2020 presidential election ultimately led to him alienating many moderates as well as his own supporters. The Senate is now evenly divided after the victories of Warnock and Ossoff, with Democrats taking control thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote. Warnock also became the first Black senator from Georgia.
Democrats have already secured control of the Senate by flipping a seat in Pennsylvania, and Warnock will be running for re-election this year after winning the 2021 special election. Democrats would have a 51-49 majority if Warnock were to win, eliminating the need for talks about a power-sharing arrangement.
For the majority of his reelection campaign, Warnock has emphasized his ability to strike deals in Washington and the values he brings to the position. The senator didn’t ramp up his attacks against Walker until the very end of the campaign, after two women accused Walker, an opponent of abortion rights, of encouraging and funding their abortions.
In a recent campaign stop, Warnock declared, “My opponent lies about everything,” listing a long list of Walker’s repeated fabrications and exaggerations. He claimed to be a policeman. He isn’t. He claimed to be employed by the FBI. No, he didn’t. claimed to have earned a degree from the University of Georgia. No, he didn’t. claimed to be his class valedictorian. No, he wasn’t. He claimed to have another company with 800 staff members. There are eight.
On the other hand, Walker has enjoyed the jousting ever since he secured the GOP nomination in the spring.
Herschel is an opponent. Walker’s campaign manager, Scott Paradise, noted the candidate’s athletic prowess as a football running back, kickboxer, and Olympic bobsledder and said, “He’s very comfortable with the mano a mano.
In fact, Warnock’s position as pastor of the illustrious church where Martin Luther King Jr. once preached plays right into Walker’s hands. Walker has criticized Warnock over an Atlanta apartment complex owned by a foundation of Warnock’s church, where residents have reported receiving eviction notices and living in subpar conditions to The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative media outlet.
At a recent campaign stop in a suburb of Atlanta, Walker declared, “What he’s doing in this apartment building at Columbia Towers is not right.” “Don’t put Martin Luther King’s name on what you’re doing to people, and don’t put Jesus’ name on what you’re doing to people. You are not Dr. King nor are you, Jesus.
Warnock adds Walker’s criticisms to the list of documented exaggerations and falsehoods made by the challenger, who claims that no residents of Columbia Tower have been kicked out. What sort of individual lies in the church? said Warnock in Macon. “This is not the first time that Ebenezer Baptist Church has been attacked. Martin Luther King Jr. was abused. I’m with good people.
Nevertheless, when asked if he had second thoughts about his church’s management of Columbia Towers, Warnock dodged the question by saying, “I’ve already answered the question. I’m proud of what my church does each week to feed and house the homeless and hungry.
Walker also claims that Warnock “got rich” while serving as a senator, making reference to the pastor’s $7,500 monthly housing allowance from the church. The payments do not violate Senate ethics rules that restrict outside income for senators.
Walker has alleged Warnock is a careless father at least once during the runoff. The comment “crossed a line,” Warnock said to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Walker made his first public acknowledgment of three of his kids earlier in the campaign, but only after The Daily Beast revealed their existence.
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In none of his critiques of Walker Warnock brought up those kids. In contrast to his support as a candidate for a national ban on all abortions, Walker has not answered questions from reporters at an open campaign event since late October, when a second accuser came forward to claim that he had forced her to have an abortion. Walker refuted the women’s allegations.
The ex-wives of each candidate also play a significant role in the race, but the two men steer clear of it themselves, leaving the discussion of their unions largely to paid advertising. In one advertisement, Warnock’s ex-wife accuses the Atlanta police of running over her foot.
The Republican advertisement neglects to mention that according to a police report, there was no tangible proof of her claim. According to an interview with Walker’s first wife in a Democratic advertisement, he threatened to hurt her, which Walker confirmed in his autobiography.
Since the two men engaged in their lone debate on October 14, Warnock has criticized Walker for providing too few policy specifics and occasionally misstating the policies he does discuss.
Warnock touts the benefits of his new federal law that caps insulin costs for Medicare beneficiaries. Walker suggested that diabetics could control their health by “eating right,” but this is insufficient for diabetic patients who are insulin-dependent.
“Perhaps he should apply to become a dietician. Warnock announced his candidacy for the Senate in Macon.
When Walker said that the United States is “not ready” to take action on climate change and that it should instead “keep having those gas-guzzling cars” that already have “good emissions” standards, he pounced. When Walker recently added a digression about vampires to a campaign speech, Warnock added gleeful mockery.