It was a week ago today when Herschel 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. As we’ve discussed, 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 Georgia Republican. The outlet also confirmed the story with a contemporaneous witness.
The Senate hopeful spent the next several days struggling to keep his story straight, even as the public learned that his accuser is one of several women with whom Walker has had a child.
A week after the story broke, none of the latest revelations does the beleaguered GOP candidate any favors. The New York Times, for example, published this report over the weekend:
A woman who has said Herschel Walker, the Republican Senate nominee in Georgia, paid for her abortion in 2009 told The New York Times that he urged her to terminate a second pregnancy two years later. They ended their relationship after she refused. In a series of interviews, the woman said Mr. Walker had barely been involved in their now 10-year-old son’s life, offering little more than court-ordered child support and occasional gifts.
According to the Times’ reporting, which has not been independently verified by MSNBC or NBC News, the woman disclosed new details after Walker dismissed her as “some alleged woman” in a radio interview.
The Daily Beast published a related article on Friday night, reporting that Walker’s current wife, Julie Blanchard, has “served as a go-between messenger” between Walker and his accuser, and the two interacted late last week, even as the Republican candidate claimed not to know his accuser’s identity.
The same report characterized Walker as an absentee father who failed to tell one of his sons about his half-siblings.
The article was published just hours after The Washington Post and CNN reported that Walker had fired his campaign’s political director, Taylor Crowe, over accusations that he had unauthorized contacts with reporters.
As a rule, it’s not a great sign when a Senate hopeful feels the need to fire his political director four weeks ahead of Election Day.
As for how — and whether — the developments are affecting Walker’s candidacy, Georgia’s Republican governor, Brain Kemp, did not seem especially eager to voice public confidence in his party’s Senate candidate on Friday. Asked about the controversy, Kemp said he’s still supporting the GOP “ticket” in Georgia, but the governor did not mention Walker by name.
Republicans at the national level appear to have a different posture in mind. NBC News reported:
Republican Sens. Rick Scott of Florida, the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and Tom Cotton of Arkansas announced they will travel to Georgia to campaign for Herschel Walker on Tuesday.... In a statement to NBC News, Scott said, “The Democrats want to destroy this country, and they will try to destroy anyone who gets in their way. Today it’s Herschel Walker, but tomorrow it’s the American people.”
Scott added, “I’m on Herschel’s team — and they picked the wrong Georgian to mess with.”
I’m not sure who “they” are supposed to be: The mother of one of his children said he paid for her abortion, and Walker’s adult son insisted that the Senate candidate, among other things, “threatened to kill“ his family members, forcing them to flee his “violence.”
As the Floridian sees it, are they "messing" with Walker?
It’s an open question as to whether these visits will help the struggling candidate — neither Cotton nor Scott have ever seriously competed in a Mr. Charisma competition — but their presence in Georgia is fresh evidence that the party isn’t giving up on Walker.
Circling back to our earlier coverage, there's no real mystery as to the circumstances: The GOP doesn't have much of a choice — it’s too late to dump him and pick someone else — and for Republicans, Walker remains too big to fail.