Herschel Walker, the Republican nominee for US Senate in Georgia, on Thursday continued to deny reporting by The Daily Beast that he paid for a woman’s abortion in 2009 and sought to clarify comments he made about the report during a radio interview earlier in the day.
“This here, the abortion thing, is false. It’s a lie,” Walker told reporters following a campaign event in Wadley, Georgia.
“I am not deterred. I am not backing down,” Walker said in a statement later Thursday afternoon. “The stakes are too high. We are going to win this race – and put Georgia first again.”
During an interview on conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt’s show earlier Thursday, Walker was asked about the Daily Beast reporting and said that “if that had happened, I would have said it, ‘cause there’s nothing to be ashamed of there.”
Walker was then asked about that comment during Q&A with reporters in Wadley in the afternoon.
“You said that if this did happen, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. How do you square that …” a reporter began, before Walker cut her off.
“No, what I said – I was talking about something totally different … nothing to do with what this woman said. I said this here, the abortion thing, is false. It’s a lie,” Walker said.
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Walker’s campaign against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, which is one of the most competitive races of the 2022 midterms, has been under fire since The Daily Beast published its report Monday. The initial story attributed the abortion claim to an unidentified woman before adding in a separate report Wednesday that she was the mother of one of Walker’s four children.
The Daily Beast also published photographs of a “get well” card the woman alleged Walker had sent following the procedure and referenced a bank deposit receipt she provided to the outlet that contained an image of a $700 personal check Walker allegedly sent her to pay for the abortion.
CNN reported earlier Thursday that some Walker allies want the GOP nominee to dial up his efforts to refute the allegation.
CNN has not been able to independently verify the allegation.
Conversations with several Republican operatives and sources close to Walker paint a picture of a campaign whose senior officials were caught flat-footed and which has struggled to mount an organized response to the allegations from The Daily Beast and from Walker’s son Christian, who has accused his father of lying and misleading the public about allegations that have been made against him and about his family’s support for his run for office.
“I said, ‘Anything that happened with my ex-wife, or what Christian was talking about, I don’t know,’” Walker said at the Q&A on Thursday. “But – as I said – if anything happened, that’s nothing to be ashamed of, because my ex-wife and I have been best of friends, with her husband, and my wife, so that’s the thing that I’ve said.”
Asked about the ongoing criticism by Christian Walker, the GOP nominee said, “I love my son so much. He’s a great little man, I love him to death. And you know what, I will always love him, no matter what my son says.”
This story has been updated with additional comment from Walker.