When Herschel Walker first entered Georgia’s U.S. Senate race, his campaign team went to great lengths to limit access to the candidate. This was far from ideal — ordinarily, those seeking powerful offices don’t hide — but it was at least understandable given the circumstances.
After all, from the outset, the Republican simply wasn’t prepared to answer questions or talk about his governing vision. Indeed, Walker was a first-time candidate with no background in politics and no understanding of the major issues of the day. Of course his staff tried to shield him from those who might realize the Senate hopeful was in over his head.
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The expectation was that in the months that followed, Walker would learn more — about the issues, about his positions, about how best to talk to journalists, etc. — and he’d feel the need to hide less. Those expectations were wrong.
The New York Times reported on Nov. 30, for example, on difficult questions surrounding Walker’s residency in an entirely different state. The article noted that the GOP candidate “has not answered questions about the matter; he has largely stopped talking to reporters.” Politico had a related report, noting that Walker is afraid of making things worse for himself as his campaign reaches the finish line, which means “largely avoiding media questions except from conservative outlets.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Patricia Murphy added this gem:
Along with not talking to the AJC, it’s been nearly two months since Walker has held a press conference and nearly as long since he’s spoken to any outlet outside of the conservative ecosystem. Lately, his staff has imposed a rule that reporters cannot get within 20 feet of the candidate.
Axios’ Emma Hurt posted an image of the gates the Walker campaign has begun using to keep reporters at bay.
Why 20 feet? Hurt added that the distance is apparently necessary “to prevent journalists from shouting questions.”
Of course, journalists would probably be less inclined to shout questions if Walker held occasional press conferences, but he’s not doing that, either.
It’d be an exaggeration to say the Republican is completely ignoring media appearances. Walker appeared on Fox News again on Dec. 1, for example, accompanied once again by Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who routinely plays the role of Walker’s chaperone.
But when it comes to possible questions from independent media professionals, the GOP Senate candidate who avoided legitimate questions months ago is still avoiding legitimate questions now.