After the first debate for Georgia’s Senate seat took place on Friday night, Republican candidate Herschel Walker decided that was enough. Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Libertarian candidate Chase Oliver showed up to the Atlanta Press Club on Sunday while an empty podium represented Walker. Sen. Warnock was understandably upset about this. Remember, Warnock committed to three debates a few months back.
From The Hill:
“I think it’s important to point out that my opponent Herschel Walker is not here,” Warnock said at the outset of the debate, “and I think that half of being a senator is showing up. That’s half of life. And I have shown up for the people of Georgia time and time again.”
Even Libertarian candidate Chase Oliver had some words regarding Walker’s no-show.
From the Associated Press:
“I can properly articulate the message of small government in a way that we just haven’t seen Herschel doing,” Oliver said after the debate, adding a sports metaphor given Walker’s iconic status as a former University of Georgia running back. “If you want to suit up and get on the field ... you can’t just walk off when you don’t want to play. So I think he should have shown up tonight.”
Walker’s camp responded by claiming victory from the first debate and said Atlanta Press Club was a “sham” that favored Warnock. Instead, the Republican candidate is electing to go to the more favorable territory as he will join Fox News for a town hall tonight at 9 p.m.
However, Walker has his problems to worry about after Friday night. For one, there was the moment when he flashed a police badge claiming he was a police officer despite that not being true.
“It was unfortunate to see that even in his second try at a debate, Raphael Warnock couldn’t give a single direct answer,” Walker spokesperson Will Likely said in a statement. “Winners don’t need a second try, and Herschel Walker was the clear winner of Friday night’s debate.”
Early voting in Georgia starts today, and it doesn’t look like any more debates will be happening from now until November 8th. However, Warnock wanted to set a clear parallel between himself and Walker regarding their histories on Sunday in relation to violence.
“I have never been violent to anybody for any reason. I have spent my entire life as a citizen, as a pastor of Dr. King’s church steeped in the philosophy of nonviolence,” he said. “My opponent, on the other hand, has a well-documented history of violence, and he hasn’t come clean about it.”