Last night was one of those wild nights where politics unfolded on twitter in real time.
Herschel Walker’s campaign for Senator in Georgia seemingly imploded. Walker has been previously credibly accused of spousal abuse and of fathering multiple children out-of-wedlock despite denouncing absentee parents, but with limited effect. If he survives this, however, truly nothing matters.
If you are tuning in this morning, here is an explainer of how the night unfolded.
At 7pm, Roger Sollenberger of the Daily Beast dropped a bombshell story. A woman accused Walker, who opposes access to abortion under any conditions, of encouraging her to have an abortion and paying for it.
The story appears credible, with the reporters saying they have documentation of the relationship, procedure and payment. It also includes some extraordinary detail like Walker sending the woman a “Rest…Relax…Recover” post-abortion card.
Political commentator Erick Erickson suggested that this was old news, which it very much was not, and then noted that Walker was denying the charges, and then reiterated that, yes, actually, he had definitely heard rumors of this story.
Sean Hannity picked up the story, and had Walker on. Walker reiterated his denials about the abortion, though did not exclude the possibility that he had given money to the woman in question. “I give money to people all the time…I believe in being generous.”
Then things got even more bizarre. Walker’s son, Christian, who has carved out a niche as a visible Trump supporter started to unload on his father on twitter and Instagram.
A couple of notable things here.
First, amidst the barrage of insults, Christian Walker gave credence to domestic abuse claims that have dogged Walker (“threatened to kill us”). It becomes harder to dismiss these claims when they come from someone who was introducing Walker at Mar-A-Lago just a few months back.
Second, Christian Walker’s MAGA-world celebrity status undermines any efforts to circle the wagons around his father. Back to Erickson:
Is there some broader message here? The news about Walker came the same day that another struggling Republican candidate, Mehmet Oz, came under criticism for running animal experiments that killed a bunch of puppies in fairly disturbing circumstances.
Maybe Oz and Walker will recover, but if not, Republicans may have lost an opportunity to retake the Senate because of what Mitch McConnell referred to as “candidate quality,” a thinly-veiled criticism of Trump-endorsed Senate candidates who did not seem ready for prime-time.
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Referring to Erick Erickson as a "political commentator" without the word "idiot" attached is suboptimal.