Because Herschel Walker has no background in public service, scrutinizing the Georgia Republican’s record in other areas becomes all the more important. For the U.S. Senate hopeful, this is proving to be a problem.
Since launching his first-ever political campaign, Walker has, for example, made clear that he knows effectively nothing about public affairs. The public has also learned about allegations of domestic violence. In fact, the Associated Press reported last month on a 2001 incident in which the former football player “talked about having a shoot-out with police.” Around the same time, Walker’s therapist called the police to say he was “volatile” and armed.
At least, the GOP candidate can point to some success he’s had in business, right? Well, no. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published a detailed report today, scrutinizing Walker’s boasts about his private-sector prowess.
[A]n Atlanta Journal-Constitution review of court records and other public documents contradicts statements Walker has made about the number of people his companies employ, their size and the assets they own. The review also revealed a string of defaults, settlements and lawsuits alleging that Walker and his businesses owed millions of dollars in unpaid loans.
This dovetails with an AP report from last summer, pointing to Walker having “exaggerated claims of financial success and alarmed business associates with unpredictable behavior.”
Presumably, the candidate would address some of these concerns in upcoming GOP primary debates, but as the NBC affiliate in Atlanta reported last week, Walker has suggested he will not participate in any primary debates.
This is consistent with Walker having spent much of his candidacy avoiding public interactions with voters and turning down interview requests with mainstream journalists.
Describing his curious strategy of running for office while hiding, CNN noted in the fall, “Walker’s schedule keeps him largely behind closed doors.”
Circling back to our earlier coverage, all of this may seem like a recipe for inevitable failure, but the first-time candidate might very well win anyway. Walker has, for example, received the enthusiastic backing of Republican Party leaders, including Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
What’s more, there were two statewide polls released a couple of months ago — one from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the other from Quinnipiac — and both found Walker with small leads over incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock.
To be sure, many voters aren’t yet thinking about elections that are 241 days away, and it’s likely that most Georgians haven’t heard about Walker’s struggles. By this reasoning, he’s ahead because much of the public knows about his on-the-field success, but doesn’t know about his many off-the-field controversies.
But as things stand, Walker is nevertheless the leading U.S. Senate candidate in one of the nation’s most important and most competitive contests, despite the fact that his record is difficult to defend.