It’s no secret that Herschel Walker is running for the U.S. Senate despite not having any background in politics, policy, governing, or elected office. But the retired athlete launched a Republican campaign in Georgia anyway, pointing to his success in the private sector.
On the surface, this isn’t necessarily a ridiculous claim. After a successful football career, Walker has been involved in a variety of business ventures and amassed a fortune. But just below the surface, his record is more of an embarrassment than a foundation for a statewide campaign.
The Associated Press reported last summer, for example, that Walker’s record includes “exaggerated claims of financial success” and a history of alarming business associates with his “unpredictable behavior.” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published a related report in March, highlighting the false claims, lawsuits, and unpaid loans as part of Walker’s private-sector background.
But The Daily Beast advanced the story further in ways that probably ought to embarrass the first-time candidate.
...Walker has established a parallel record of demonstrably false claims, many of which appear to bear no resemblance to reality whatsoever. While Walker’s business record has been picked over before ... The Daily Beast has reviewed documents and other records that shine new light on previously unexamined, and particularly egregious, false claims.
To fully appreciate the details, you’ll have to dig in on the full report, but to briefly summarize some of the highlights, The Daily Beast found that Walker claimed to run, among other things, the largest minority-owned food company in the United States and the country’s largest minority-owned apparel company.
Reality suggests otherwise. In fact, the article added, “The claims about the upholstery business appear particularly divorced from the truth, as that business, as Walker describes it, doesn’t appear to exist.”
Given that the GOP candidate tends to point to his business record as proof of Senate qualifications, this seems like a rather significant problem.
Making matters slightly worse is the fact that Walker has very little to fall back on. Circling back to our earlier coverage, the Republican has made clear that he knows effectively nothing about public affairs. Voters have also learned about allegations of domestic violence and other dangerous personal behavior. He hasn’t even told the truth about his educational background.
As for Walker’s recent rhetoric, he’s tried to argue that the late-Rep. John Lewis was a senator who’d oppose the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. We learned soon after that Walker had falsely claimed the FDA had approved an unproven “dry mist” mystery treatment for Covid-19. The Republican then said it was “totally unfair“ to ask for his opinion about the bipartisan infrastructure law.
Last month, Walker suggested the existence of apes calls evolutionary biology into question and seemed to argue that in-vitro fertilization doesn’t work “because there has to be a God.” He tried to talk about energy policy this month and offered little more than a garbled word salad.
There was a debate this past weekend for the six Republicans running for the U.S. Senate in Georgia, featuring five candidates and an empty podium. Is it any wonder why Walker was the only contender who refused to show up?