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Raphael Warnock will begin airing a commercial about the abortion allegations against Walker after weeks of avoiding the issue

Raphael Warnock will begin airing a commercial about the abortion allegations against Walker after weeks of avoiding the issue



CNN

After weeks of avoiding abortion charges against Georgia’s Republican Senate candidate Herschel WalkerDemocratic Sen. Raphael Warnock is putting money behind the allegations that rocked the key race.

Warnock’s campaign released a new television ad on Thursday highlighting allegations that Walker paid for one woman’s abortion and encouraged her to have another. The Republican has repeatedly denied the allegations, and CNN has not independently confirmed them.

Advertisementtitled “The Hypocrite,” contrasts those accusations with Walker’s support for a ban on abortion without exceptions, which Republicans called for as recently as this summer.

“For you, Herschel Walker wants to ban abortion,” the narrator says, before playing comments the Republican made not supporting a national abortion ban. “But for yourself,” the narrator then asks before playing the news of the charges against Walker.

The ad includes a video from an interview Walker gave to NBC, where he is the Republican candidate acknowledged that he sent a $700 check to a woman who claims the money was given to reimburse her for an abortion, although Walker denies the check was for that purpose.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s my signature or not,” Walker said during the interview, before examining the document and concluding, “Yes, that’s my check.”

Asked by CNN whether the ad represented a change in strategy, Warnock declined to elaborate and returned to his familiar abortion talking point.

“I think my position on this issue has remained the same. I still think the sick room is too small to have room for a woman, her doctor and the United States government. I have been consistent on this point. I believe in a woman’s right to choose and I remain steadfast,” said Warnock.

Rachel Petri, Warnock’s deputy campaign manager, said the ad focused on the abortion allegations against Walker was “another example of how unprepared he is to represent Georgia.”

“As we have done throughout the campaign, we are working hard to let Georgians know the facts about Herschel Walker’s record, including his support for a nationwide ban on abortion and no exceptions for rape, incest or protecting the life of the mother,” Petri said.

Will Kiley, a spokesman for Walker’s campaign, responded to Warnock’s new ad by saying the Democratic senator “embarrassed himself at the Savannah debate” and is “desperate and it shows.”

“Everything points to Herschel having momentum on its side,” Kiley added. “Herschel is focused on issues Georgians care about, like the economy and crime.”

The Georgia Senate race is one of the most closely watched contests in the country, and Democrats are hoping Warnock can win a full term for the seat he won in a special election nearly two years ago. Despite initial concerns about Walker, Republicans have rallied around the former football player at the urging of former President Donald Trump, who has backed him in early 2021. A survey released earlier this month, conducted after the allegations about Walker emerged, found that Warnock with 52% support among likely voters to 45% for Walker, about the same as in the mid-September poll.

Although Warnock’s campaign repeatedly used the abortion issue against Walker in the final months of the campaign, the Democratic senator steadfastly avoided commenting on the allegations against his opponent, even as outside groups supporting him seized on the drama.

“There are many [allegations]I’m not sure which ones you mean,” Warnock said earlier this month when asked about why he was no longer pursuing the Walker allegations.

Warnock adopted the same strategy for his own the first and only debate against Walker last week, allowing the allegations against the Republican to be a blip in the hour-long contest. Despite numerous opportunities to raise them – including during the contentious and protracted abortion debate – Warnock declined and instead launched a broad attack on Walker’s relationship with the truth.

“We’ll see time and time again, as we’ve seen before, that my opponent has a problem with the truth,” Warnock said. “And just because he says something doesn’t mean it’s true.”

For Democrats, the allegations against Walker represent the height of hypocrisy said the Republican as recently as August to oppose all exceptions to the abortion ban, despite saying during a debate that he supported a Georgia law that bans abortions after about six weeks, but makes exceptions for cases of rape or incest, pending a timely police report, and in some cases when the health of the pregnant woman is at risk.

“So I said, ‘I believe in life.’ I believe in life. And I said, you know, if somebody wants to have an exception, I said, ‘Not in my book,'” Walker said at the August forum. “I said, ‘I’m sorry. I feel sorry for anyone who is a victim of any crime.’ Yes. I feel that way. It’s horrible and it’s horrible, but we deal with it as it comes.”

An ad focused on the allegations against Walker is not the only new ad Warnock’s team released on Thursday.

A second adTitled “Another Lie,” it also features a video of an interview with NBC and his repeated defense that he’s been “very transparent” and written a book “about everything I’ve ever done.”

“Another lie from Herschel Walker,” says the narrator. “Here’s Walker’s book, and he hasn’t written a single word about his violence against women.”

The narrator adds, “Herschel Walker is lying again.”

CNN has previously reported on Walker allegedly making violent threats against numerous women, including his ex-wife. Walker said he has dissociative identity disorder, formerly known as multiple personality disorder, and has tried counseling people with mental health issues.

CNN’s Eva McKend contributed to this report.



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