Herschel Walker to be joined by Ted Cruz as GOP stands by its man after new abortion allegation
With less than two weeks until Election Day and Georgia voters casting early ballots in record numbers, Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker will be back on the trail Thursday followed again by clouds of scandal surrounding a new allegation he pressured a woman into having an abortion.
But even as the new claim shook up one of the closest and most consequential races of the midterms, Republican leaders’ support for Walker has remained constant. The former football star, as he did following the first round of allegations from another woman, denied the new account.
Walker will be joined on the campaign trail this time around by Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who will stump for the GOP nominee during at least three stops on Walker’s bus tour of the Peach state. Cruz arrives in Georgia a little more than two weeks after fellow Republican Sens. Rick Scott of Florida, the chair of the party’s Senate campaign arm, and Tom Cotton of Arkansas did the same in a show of unity amid the controversy surrounding the first woman’s allegations.
The latest bombshell dropped at a pivotal moment in a race critical to both parties’ hopes of winning a majority in a Senate now divided, 50-50. Most polling shows Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, who’s running for a full six-year term, with a modest lead over Walker in the final stretch of the campaign.
Walker has already been accused by a former girlfriend of encouraging her to have the procedure and then reimbursing her the cost. He denounced the woman’s claim as a “flat-out lie,” but presented with a copy of the check the first woman said was a payment for her abortion, conceded it was his signature on the paper, although he said he did not know what the check was for. The same woman also alleged that Walker sought for her to have a second abortion years later, according to The New York Times.
She said she refused and is now the mother of a son who, she says, rarely sees his father. CNN has not independently confirmed the first woman’s allegations. She has remained anonymous in public reports.
The latest accusation was leveled against Walker on Wednesday afternoon, when a woman who claims she was in a years-long romantic relationship with the now-candidate said at press conference that he had pressured her into having an abortion in 1993.
The woman, referred to as Jane Doe to protect her identity, attended the press conference virtually with her lawyer, Gloria Allred, and read her statement. Her voice was heard, but her face was not shown.
Doe, who said she is a registered independent who voted for former President Donald Trump, told reporters she decided to tell her story now to highlight what she described as Walker’s hypocrisy – and her belief that he is not “morally fit to be a US senator.”
“He has publicly taken the position that he is about life and against abortion under any circumstance when in fact he pressured me to have an abortion and personally ensured that it occurred by driving me to the clinic and paying for it,” said Doe.
Walker, during his debate with Warnock, insisted he supported exceptions to anti-abortion laws, but he has repeatedly – including in comments as recently as this summer and reported by CNN last week – said he backed a comprehensive ban.
At a campaign event in Georgia prior to the press conference, Walker called the new allegation a “lie.”
“I already told people this is a lie, and I’m not going to entertain, continue to carry a lie along. And I also want to let you know that I didn’t kill JFK either,” Walker said, adding that Democrats are doing and saying whatever they can to win the Senate seat.
Walker said in an additional statement Wednesday evening, “I’m done with this foolishness. This is all a lie, and I will not entertain any of it.”
Doe said during the press conference that “Herschel Walker is a hypocrite, and he is not fit to be a US senator,” adding: “We don’t need people in the US Senate who profess one thing and do another. Herschel Walker says he is against women having abortions, but he pressured me to have one.”
Doe said her romantic relationship began in 1987 when Walker was playing for the Dallas Cowboys. She said she traveled to see him as he was traded to the Minnesota Vikings, and the Philadelphia Eagles. He was married throughout their relationship, she said.
Allred exhibited several personal cards she said Walker sent to Doe signed with the letter “H,” to refute Walker’s claims that he never signed anything that way.
Allred also recited a message Walker allegedly left on Doe’s answering machine and presented a photo purportedly of Walker in Doe’s Minnesota hotel bed, along with a copy of the receipt from the hotel. While Allred on Wednesday provided evidence corroborating an alleged relationship between Doe and Walker, she did not provide any details corroborating the abortion claim.
In April 1993, Doe said she became pregnant with Walker’s child.
“After discussing the pregnancy with Herschel several times, he encouraged me to have an abortion and gave me the money to do so. I went to a clinic in Dallas but simply couldn’t go through with it, I left the clinic in tears,” she recounted.
But when she lost her nerve, the woman said, Walker became upset.
He “drove me to the clinic the following day and waited for hours in the parking lot until I came out,” she said. “I was devastated because I felt like I was pressured into having the abortion.”
Democrats have trodden carefully in addressing Walker’s abortion controversies. Warnock, in particular, has been careful not to directly comment on the women’s claims, instead alluding to Walker’s “problem with the truth” – a message repeated by Rachel Petri, his deputy campaign manager, in a statement Wednesday that said, “Herschel Walker has a problem with the truth, a problem answering questions, and a problem taking responsibility for his actions.”
“Today’s new report is just the latest example of a troubling pattern we have seen play out again and again and again,” Petri added. “Herschel Walker shouldn’t be representing Georgians in the U.S. Senate.”
But in a sign of the race’s stakes and increasing tension, Warnock’s campaign has become slightly less hesitant to weaponize the allegations. It recently rolled out an ad, titled “Hypocrite,” that begins with a narrator saying, “For you, Herschel Walker wants to ban abortion,” before cutting to soundbites from Walker and, eventually, a newscaster describing the allegations from the first woman to accuse him of paying for her to get an abortion.