Ex-NFL star and Georgia Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker’s allies reportedly were really, really hoping this day wouldn’t come.
In wake of the Daily Beast’s bombshell report that Walker, who backs abortion bans with no exceptions, had once paid for an ex-girlfriend to get an abortion, Politico reported on Tuesday that the incident was something of an open secret in Georgia — one that state GOP power brokers had feared would shatter Walker’s chances in his race against Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA).
Several months ago, Georgia Republican operatives reportedly alerted Walker’s team to the huge risk that the abortion allegation posed to the former NFL player’s campaign (the operatives reportedly brought up the issue partially to convince him not to run).
However, Walker’s team shrugged off the warning with the attitude of “Eh, it’s not going to come out, you’re being hyperbolic,” an operative told Politico.
So everyone reportedly just bit their nails and waited, hoping Walker would reach the finish line in November without stepping on that particular landmine. The team also did nothing to prepare to respond to the situation, should the story blow up as it did on Monday.
“I think people were holding out hope that we have five weeks to go and it would never come out, but you can never bet on the waiting game,” one of Politico’s sources near to the campaign said.
But Walker’s campaign made that bet anyway, and now the candidate has been forced to answer to an ex-girlfriend’s literal receipts of the abortion he paid for in 2009 (along with a “get well card” with his signature) as his own party wages war on abortion rights.
Walker has denied the woman’s allegations “in the strongest possible terms,” and he pledged to sue the Daily Beast for defamation on Tuesday (though he’s yet to do so).
The nominee’s 23-year-old son, Christian Walker, has been publicly condemning his father on social media ever since the report dropped, accusing him of hypocrisy and domestic abuse.
“I know my mom and I would really appreciate if my father Herschel Walker stopped lying and making a mockery of us,” he tweeted on Monday. “You’re not a ‘family man’ when you left us to bang a bunch of women, threatened to kill us, and had us move over 6 times in 6 months running from your violence.”
Christian Walker also called out his father over previous revelations that the candidate had secretly fathered three other children.
Meanwhile, the rest of the GOP has circled the wagon in Walker’s defense in a blatant contradiction to the party’s “pro-life” battle cry it’s been deploying to capitalize electorally on the Supreme Court’s conservative majority’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.