Politics

Warnock, Walker Get Personal In Georgia’s Closing Arguments

ATLANTA (AP) — After spending months arguing that Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker is “not ready” for top elected office, Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia is intensifying his critique forward of Election Day to say the superstar athlete is basically unfit for Capitol Hill.

From a rally with former President Barack Obama to a statewide bus tour that runs by the eve of Election Day on Tuesday, Warnock has hammered Walker as a “pathological liar” who has exaggerated his business, academic, professional and philanthropic achievements and been accused of violence against his family members and of paying for girlfriends’ abortions regardless of his public opposition to the process.

“This is a man who lies about the most basic facts of his life,” Warnock mentioned on a stage he shared with Obama. “And now he wants the rest of us … to somehow imagine now that he’s a United States senator. … Herschel Walker is not ready. He’s not ready. Not only is he not ready. He’s not fit.”

Walker, who denies he’s ever paid for any abortions, is sticking to an argument he’s made for months: that Warnock is a rubber stamp for President Joe Biden and a Democratic congressional majority that Walker blames for inflation, rising crime and a continued movement of immigrants throughout the U.S. border with Mexico.

“He talked about I’m not ready. No, you’re not ready,” Walker answered Thursday in suburban Atlanta. “Because you either voted with Joe Biden 96% of the time, or you had no clue what you were doing. You pick which one you want — no clue of what you’re doing or you voted with him 96% of the time which is headed in the wrong direction.”

Those competing closing arguments replicate the more and more personal nature of the Georgia contest and the broader nationwide battle for management of Congress. Warnock and most Senate Democrats have steered away from Biden and the nationwide get together model amid generationally excessive inflation, urging voters as a substitute to think about their decisions between particular person candidates. Republicans, in flip, have sought to nationalize Tuesday’s midterm elections as a referendum on Biden and his insurance policies.

The Georgia matchup may assist decide which get together controls the Senate for the ultimate two years of Biden’s time period. The chamber is now divided 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris giving Democrats the tie-breaking vote.

Through the summer time and early fall, Warnock, 53, sometimes averted immediately attacking Walker, 60. Instead, he recommended the superstar athlete was merely not ready for the Senate. Warnock spent extra time touting his Senate record, particularly infrastructure and financial growth measures he labored on with Republicans, together with Democratic measures to cap insulin and different drug prices for older Americans who use Medicare.

But Warnock has stepped up his assaults since two ladies got here ahead in October to accuse Walker of encouraging and paying for his or her abortions once they dated the previous skilled soccer star. Walker, who helps a nationwide ban on abortion, has referred to as the allegations “foolishness.”

The senator’s shifts have come alongside polls suggesting an in depth end, with the potential of a runoff; Georgia regulation requires a majority to win statewide office, and a third-party candidate within the Senate contest may hold Warnock and Walker under that threshold.

“This man says that he is in law enforcement. He’s not. In the FBI. He wasn’t,” Warnock informed supporters final week throughout his bus tour, referring to a few of Walker’s inaccurate claims. “He said that he graduated from the University of Georgia. He did not. He said he was valedictorian (of his high school class). He wasn’t. … He said he had 800 employees. He only had eight.”

In DeKalb County exterior Atlanta, Warnock mocked Walker for carrying an honorary badge, apparently given to him by a Georgia sheriff, as proof of his claims to have labored for years in regulation enforcement. “He wears his lies quite literally as a badge of honor,” Warnock informed voters.

Warnock continued to take an aggressive tack Sunday in his hometown of Savannah, and he has Monday stops deliberate for Macon and Columbus, hiting Georgia’s largest metro areas past Atlanta. Asked why he’d waited so late to assault Walker immediately, Warnock mentioned it was partly as a result of the second Walker accuser mentioned in an interview that she “felt threatened” by Walker, who has admitted some violent tendencies in his previous however mentioned they had been the results of psychological sickness that he now has below management.

Walker rejected Warnock’s criticism in a speech Thursday in Smyrna, north of Atlanta. He portrayed himself because the extra sincere candidate and mentioned his debate with Warnock proved he’s as much as the job.

“I took that man to school, I was the adult in that room,” mentioned Walker, who will shut his marketing campaign Monday within the GOP-leaning suburbs of Atlanta.

“He’s been talking about me. He even brought in a former president to talk about me,” Walker mentioned, referring to Obama’s Oct. 28 go to.

Walker mentioned Warnock, who’s the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, shouldn’t declare to have a Christian ethic whereas implying Walker doesn’t have one.

“He said I’m the liar. I said ‘No, Senator, you’re the liar,’” mentioned Walker, who makes faith a major part of his pitch. “You went to Washington saying you’re going to represent Georgia and you decided to represent Joe Biden.”

Walker additionally rejected Biden’s Wednesday speech warning of threats to democracy. “Him being in Washington is the biggest threat to democracy,” Walker mentioned of Biden. “The biggest threat to democracy is with Sen. Warnock being in Washington representing the great people of Georgia. He’s a big threat.”

Walker didn’t take questions from reporters and has not held an open press availability because the second abortion allegation, one other level that Warnock sought to capitalize on forward of Tuesday.

“There’s nothing stopping him from standing in front of a microphone like I’m standing right now,” Warnock informed reporters. “The people of Georgia deserve to know what kind of man, what kind of person is he?”

More than 2.5 million Georgia voters cast superior ballots, about 20% greater than the quantity who voted early for the 2018 midterms.

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