Reaction to GOP Defense of Herschel Walker: 'Um, What?'

Newt Gingrich's comments turned into punchlines
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2022 10:20 AM CDT
Reaction to GOP Defense of Herschel Walker: 'Um, What?'
Georgia GOP Senate nominee Herschel Walker smiles during remarks during a campaign stop at Battle Lumber Co. on Thursday, in Wadley, Ga.   (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

That Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker reportedly encouraged and paid for an ex's abortion doesn't seem to matter to a party that's working to outlaw the procedure. Republicans have come out in defense of the first-time candidate also plagued by allegations of domestic violence and physical abuse, and not always successfully. "I think he's the most important Senate candidate in the country because he'll do more to change the Senate just by the sheer presence, by his confidence, by his deep commitment to Christ, by the degree to which he has—you know, he’s been through a long, tough period," Newt Gingrich said Tuesday on Fox News. "He had a lot of concussions coming out of football, he suffered PTSD."

"That's the first time I've ever heard the 'our candidate has brain damage' defense," observed Jimmy Kimmel, who commented on the seriousness of concussions before joking that "sometimes they can cause abortions," per Uproxx. "Um, what?" was the response from CNN's Chris Cillizza. "This is not a good defense," he added, noting "seemingly attributing [concussions] to problems in Walker's life is a stretch." In a 2013 interview, Walker himself noted "everybody blames everything on concussions," then made clear that there is a difference between concussions and depression. "But the 'concussion' spin is emblematic of a party that is scrambling to save a candidacy in one of the most critical races in the country," writes Cillizza.

Touting Walker's "deep commitment to Christ" isn't a great argument for him either since his Democratic opponent, Sen. Raphael Warnock, is an actual Christian pastor in Atlanta, per Salon. In his defense of Walker, former President Trump claimed he'd "heard many horrible things" about Warnock—"things that nobody should be talking about, so we don't." But the crickets following that statement might be loudest of all. As conservative writer John Ellis sees it, the "unqualified" Walker is "only on the ticket because former President Trump endorsed him" and "if Georgia Republicans could replace him on the ballot today, they would do so in a nano-second." But "they can't," he writes, per CNN. With the election a month away, "it's too late." (Read more Herschel Walker stories.)

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