As Herschel Walker’s exceedingly rough week nears its end, it’s worth remembering that the Georgia Republican was already one of the most controversial Senate candidates in recent American history. I’m occasionally reminded of a brutal paragraph Politico published in August, summarizing the GOP candidate’s background.
Walker, Politico noted, “has lied about his educational achievements, his participation in law enforcement and the FBI, the size and success of his business ventures, and the number of children he has. ‘He’s lied so much that we don’t know what’s true,’ a Walker adviser told The Daily Beast. ‘I’m going to blow your f’ing brains out,’ he once told his ex-wife, according to his ex-wife. He told an ex-girlfriend in 2012 that he was going to ‘blow her head off’ and then ‘blow his head off,’ according to the ex-girlfriend.
“And in his 2008 memoir about his multiple personality disorder, he writes about playing Russian roulette repeatedly, putting a bullet in his gun and the gun to his head and into his mouth and sitting at his kitchen table and pulling the trigger. He says he considered killing a man for the late delivery of a car he had bought, fantasizing about ‘the visceral enjoyment I’d get from seeing the small entry wound and the spray of brain tissue and blood.’”
Complicating matters, of course, is the fact that Walker hasn’t taken any real interest in public policy, governing, or the basics of current events. The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson made the case in a recent column that if Walker wins, it will be proof that “this nation has truly lost its mind.”
And yet, the Republican’s latest controversy has sparked a different kind of conversation.
On Monday, Walker was credibly accused of paying for an abortion for one of his ex-girlfriends, despite running on a platform of a no-exceptions abortions ban. The woman bolstered her claims by providing The Daily Beast, which broke the story, with a copy of the check and get-well card — complete with his handwritten signature on it — she received from the Senate candidate after the procedure. The outlet also confirmed the story with a contemporaneous witness.
Walker and his campaign team immediately and vehemently denounced the reporting, insisted it was false, and vowed to file a lawsuit against the online publication on Tuesday morning.
At least so far, no such litigation has been filed. In fact, on Wednesday morning, the candidate’s tone shifted a bit: Instead of condemning the reporting as defamatory, Walker conceded to Fox News that he’s made “mistakes” but has been “redeemed.” Asked if he knew the identity of his accuser, the Senate hopeful added, “Not at all. And that’s what I hope everyone can see. It’s sort of like everyone is anonymous.”
That apparently didn’t help matters. NBC News reported:
The woman who alleges Herschel Walker paid for her abortion more than a decade ago also says she is the mother of one of his children, the Daily Beast reported Wednesday, an allegation that counters the Georgia Republican’s claim that he does not know his accuser.
According to the Daily Beast’s reporting, which hasn’t been independently verified by MSNBC or NBC News, the outlet “agreed not to reveal certain details about her identity over her concerns for safety and privacy.” But after Walker said he didn’t know his accuser, she volunteered an important detail: She’s the mother of one of his kids.
The Republican campaign shared a statement with NBC News, saying, “There’s no truth to this or any other Daily Beast report.”
The trouble is, this is not, strictly speaking, a typical he-said/she-said story. For one thing, Walker’s accuser has shared relevant evidence that appears to support her version of events.
For another, Walker himself seems to be having a tough time keeping his story straight. Following his curious remarks on Fox News on Wednesday morning, the Georgia Republican spoke yesterday to conservative host Hugh Hewitt, and continued to say the story isn’t true. Walker added, however, “[I]f I’ve been forgiven, why in the world would I not be forgiven of something like that?”
In the same interview, the candidate went on to say, “Had that happened, I would have said it, because it’s nothing to be ashamed of there.”
As a rule, it’s tough to pull off the I-didn’t-do-it-but-it’s-all-right-if-I-did defense, and in this instance, it doesn’t help that Walker’s rhetoric is wholly at odds with his own position of wanting to ban all abortions without exceptions.
He also continued to say he has “no idea“ who his accuser is, which continues to be odd given that there are four women with whom Walker has had children.
Walker also tried to blame Democrats for the allegations, which was odd given that the claims are coming from members of his own family: The mother of one of his children said he paid for her abortion, and Walker’s adult son insisted this week that the Senate candidate, among other things, “threatened to kill“ his family members, forcing them to flee his “violence.”
Christian Walker, it’s worth noting for context, is a conservative social media personality, not a Democratic activist.
Meanwhile, Republicans continue to stand by their beleaguered Senate nominee, in part because they have no choice — it’s too late to dump him and pick someone else — and in part because, for the GOP, Herschel Walker remains too big to fail.