Herschel Walker doubles down on denial he paid for ex-girlfriend’s abortion: ‘I’m not backing down’

Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker doubled down on his denial of news reportsthat he paid for an ex-girlfriend’s abortion in his debate with Senator Raphael Warnock.

Mr Walker made the remarks during his debate in Savannah on Friday, a week after The Daily Beast reported that he sent a $750 check to an ex-girlfriend. The New York Times later reported that he pressured his ex-girlfriend to have a second abortion in 2011.

But Mr Walker vehemently denied the allegations.

“That was a lie and I’m not backing down,” he said during the debate, mentioning how he had difficulty with mental health and wrote about it in a book.

“I’ve been very transparent, not like the Senator,” he said. “Georgia is a state that respects life and I’ll be a Senator that protects life.”

Polling has shown that Mr Walker has fallen behind Mr Warnock after the news reports. A recent The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Georgia News Collaborative survey showed Mr Warnock had a narrow three-point lead at 46 per cent against Mr Walker, a former University of Georgia running back and Heisman Trophy winner, at 43 per cent.

Mr Walker has previously said he opposes abortion bans including in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is endangered.

But Mr Walker said that he supported a bill signed by Republican Governor Brian Kemp that limited abortion to when a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is typically at six weeks, which he said had exceptions.

“I’m a Christian, but I’m also representative the people of Georgia,” he said.

In response, the moderator asked Mr Warnock if he supported any limitations on abortion.

“I trust women more than I trust politicians,” Mr Warnock said. “And the women of Georgia deserve a Senator who will stand with them.”

Mr Walker then responded to Mr Warnock’s remarks saying the government shouldn’t be in the room with a doctor and a woman by saying Mr Warnock did not respect the foetus.

“I will remind the pastor that there is also a baby in the room,” he said, calling on Mr Warnock’s career as a pastor. “If Black Lives Matter, why are you not protecting those babies, and instead of aborting those babies, why are you not baptising those babies?”

The debate took numerous turns and had heated exchanges. At the same time, despite the fact former president Donald Trump, who supports Mr Walker and floated the idea of him running for Senate, has complained about election results, he admitted he would concede the election if he lost.

Similarly, Mr Walker said he would support Mr Trump if he ran in 2024.

“I won’t leave my allies, which is what Senator Warnock and Joe Biden did in Afghanistan,” he said. Throughout the debate, Mr Warnock noted how Mr Warnock voted consistently with the White House.

Conversely, Mr Warnock dithered when asked whether he would support President Joe Biden in 2024.

“You’re asking me who’s gonna run in 2024,” he said. “The people of Georgia get to decide who’s gonna be their senator in three days.”

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Conversely, Mr Warnock emphasised his support for capping the cost of insulin to $35 for Medicare patients, which passed in the Inflation Reduction Act in August. But Mr Warnock said he supported lowing the price of insulin with a caveat.

“I believe in reducing insulin, but at the same time you got to eat right,” he said. “Unless you’re eating right, insulin is doing you no good.”

Similarly, the two disagreed on Mr Biden’s policy to cancel $10,000 of student debt for anyone making under $120,000 and $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients.

Meanwhile, Mr Walker said he would withhold federal dollars for any colleges that raise their prices.

“Any college that raises their cost, I’d get rid of any federal funding they’re gonna get,” he said.

Conversely, Mr Warnock defended his support for student debt forgiveness, which he has touted in his ads, mentioning how he met a couple that was saddled with student debt.

“That’s why I pushed the president to do student debt relief,” he said. “I think it was the right move.”

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