U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, a Mississippi Republican, is standing by Georgia Republican U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker even amid domestic-violence allegations and revelations that the anti-abortion candidate may have once paid for an abortion.
“I support @HerschelWalker 100%. I have no doubt he’ll stand up for Georgians from day one. Help me stand with him against the desperate attacks and take back the Senate,” Wicker tweeted Tuesday, linking to a fundraising page for Walker’s campaign.
On Monday, The Daily Beast’s Roger Sollenerger reported that Walker, a former NFL running back, paid for a former girlfriend to get an abortion in 2009 and that she had the receipts and the get-well card to prove it. Walker called the story “a lie” and said he did not know the woman’s identity, but the publication later reported on Wednesday the woman is the mother of one of Walker’s children.
The allegations are significant because, as a candidate, Walker has likened abortion to “murder,” and opposes all exceptions, including for rape, incest and to save a pregnant person’s life.
On the day of the initial story’s publication, one of Herschel Walker’s children, 23-year-old Christian Walker, spoke out on Twitter, saying that “[e]very family member of Herschel Walker asked him not to run for office, because we all knew (some of) his past.”
The younger Walker, who is also a right-wing social-media personality, took aim at his father’s “family man” image, saying Herschel Walker “threatened to kill” him and his mother “and had us move over 6 times in 6 months running from your violence.”
Earlier this year, Herschel Walker said he “regret(s) any pain” he caused to his ex-wife, Cindy Grossman, who accused him of trying to choke her and putting a gun to her head. Walker has said he does not remember those incidents because he has dissociative identity disorder.
In a new ad filmed after the abortion stories first appeared, Walker appears to blame his Democratic opponent, incumbent-U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, who is also a Christian pastor, for the negative stories. “Warnock’s a preacher who doesn’t tell the truth,” he says in the ad. “He doesn’t even believe in redemption. I’m Herschel Walker, saved by grace, and I approve this message.” He also references his “battle with mental health,” saying he has “overcome it.”
Sen. Roger Wicker’s defense of Walker is not the first time he has stood beside fellow Republican candidates facing accusations of abuse or violence in recent years.
In 2017, when Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore faced accusations from multiple women that he sexually assaulted them when they were minor teens and he was in his 30s, Wicker did not rescind his endorsement. Instead, the Mississippi senator focused on the fact that they were “very, very old charges” and asked “why this hasn’t come out in the 40 years’ time with him running for so many offices.”
In 2018, Christine Blasey Ford testified under oath to the U.S. Senate that Brett Kavanaugh, then-President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee, had once sexually assaulted her. Wicker, however, dismissed those allegations, too, and voted to confirm Kavanaugh.
“These unsubstantiated, politically motivated accusations should not further delay the consideration of this well-regarded, highly qualified nominee,” Wicker said in September 2018, claiming that senators who opposed the nomination were not interested in “truth or justice.”
Earlier this year, Wicker voted against confirming Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, saying she would be a “beneficiary” of affirmative action, but that she deserved “respect not shown to Kavanaugh.”
Wicker also stood by then-candidate Trump in 2016 when more than a dozen women accused him of sexual assault, despite calling crude remarks Trump once made about groping women and kissing them without permission “reprehensible and impossible to defend.”
“They do not square with the man I have gotten to know the past few months,” Wicker said in an Oct. 8, 2016, statement after the infamous Access Hollywood tape surfaced. “He has done the right thing and apologized.”