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Takeaways: In sole Ga. Senate debate, Walker and Warnock spar on everything from policy to personal issues

Written by on October 14, 2022

Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker clashed over abortion, voting rights and extra —together with private points — throughout the first and solely debate within the Georgia Senate race Friday.

Georgia is dwelling to one of the most competitive Senate contests of the 2022 cycle, which might decide who controls the 50-50 break up chamber subsequent 12 months.

As of late, the race has been consumed by allegations that Walker, a former NFL star, paid an ex-girlfriend to terminate a pregnancy over a decade in the past.

The 60-year-old GOP contender, who opposes abortion, has vehemently denied that he gave the unnamed lady any cash for the process. 

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Within the wake of Walker’s controversy, nonetheless, polls present Georgia stays a toss-up stateAn October survey conducted by Civiqs reveals Warnock main by 3% amongst possible voters, which is inside the ballot’s 4.6% margin of error.

Republicans, who have stuck by Walker, have elevated their assaults, focusing largely on Warnock’s help of President Joe Biden, who’s unpopular within the Peach State.

Listed below are the takeaways from Friday’s debate:

Warnock pressed on Biden, inflation 

On the outset, and thru many of the debate, Walker urged voters to disregard the senator’s “candy discuss” and take into consideration their very own financial scenario.

He commonly used the president as a battering ram in opposition to the Democratic incumbent.

“This race ain’t about me, it is about what Raphael Warnock and Joe Biden have completed to you and your loved ones,” Walker stated.

US Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock speaks during a press conference following the Democrats Policy Luncheon at the US Capitol building on November 2, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Nervousness concerning the financial system and inflation, coupled with Biden’s unpopularity, are a significant assault line for Republican candidates heading into the ultimate weeks of the 2022 midterms.

Consumer prices in September elevated 8.2% from a 12 months prior,down from an 8.3% rise in August and four-decade excessive of 9.1% in June.

Walker commonly reminded viewersWarnock has supported the president’s agenda “96 % of the time.” 

The web site FiveThirtyEight, which measures political information, reveals Warnockvotes in line with the president’s position at a rate of 96.4%.

Warnock acknowledged that Georgia is being hit laborious by the nation’s financial woes, however pointed to how corporations are raking in income too.

“There isn’t any query that persons are feeling ache on the grocery retailer, on the pump and pharmacy counters,” he stated. “And whereas we’re paying document costs, a number of our company actors are seeing document income.”

Walker on insulin: ‘You bought to eat proper’

Warnock and Walker additionally jousted over insulin and drug costs.

Warnock touted his legislative document, particularly his help forthe Inflation Reduction Act, which included a provision he backed to cap prescription drug values, akin to insulin, for seniors.

Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker embraces Sens. Rick Scott and Tom Cotton at a campaign rally on Oct. 11, 2022, in Carrollton.

Walker opposed the legislation and was challenged byWarnock to elucidate that to voters.

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“You already know, I imagine in decreasing insulin, however on the identical time you bought to eat proper,” Walker stated. “As a result of he could not understand it however I do know many individuals which can be on insulin, and until you may have eaten proper, insulin is doing you no good.”

Warnock pounced on the remark, saying that lots of his church parishionersundergo from diabetes.

“I believe we’re listening to from my opponent tonight that it is their fault that costs of insulin are being gouged,” he stated.  “I do not assume it is their fault. I believe it is the fault of those pharmaceutical corporations.”

Abortion dominates dialogue

The moderators level clean requested Walker to answer allegations that he paid an ex-girlfriend to get an abortion and urged her to have a second one. 

From the talk stage he repeated that the claims are “a lie.” He additionally stated he’s “not backing down” however that he is been clear about his life in memoirs.

“On abortion, you understand I am a Christian,” Walker stated. “I imagine in life, and I inform folks this: Georgia is a state that respects life, and I will be a senator that protects life.”

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Warnock, who helps a girl’s proper to terminate a being pregnant, prevented the query on whether or not the federal government ought to set any limits on abortion. As a substitute, he known as out the “extremist” Supreme Courtroom for its summer time ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade.

Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., during a ceremony naming a street in his honor in his hometown of Savannah on Oct. 6, 2022.

“We’re witnessing proper now what occurs when politicians, most of them males, pile into affected person’s rooms,” he stated.

“He was a pleasant talker, however did he not point out that there was a child in that room as effectively?” Walker replied.

Walkerhit over previous falsehoods

A weird second within the debate got here when the 2 had been discussing their views on policing and their help of legislation enforcement.

At one level Warnock stated his GOP opponent “has an issue with the reality.” He then checked out Walker, including he, Warnock, has by no means “pretended to be a police officer.”

The remark alludes toa 21-year-old police report during which Walker talked about “having a shoot out with police” and falsely claiming he as soon as served in legislation enforcement.

Walker, who insisted on responding, reached into his coatfor what seemed to be some type of badgeearlier than saying, “I’m — work with many law enforcement officials.”

When the moderator admonished Walker, saying it was in opposition to the talk guidelines, he stated: “This isn’t a prop, that is actual.”

Walker: Biden received in 2020

The moderatorsbluntlyrequested Walker if he believed Biden received the 2020 presidential election, a query that has turn out to be a flashpoint this 12 monthswith hundreds of election deniers on the poll throughout the nation.

Walker, who was recruited to run by former President Donald Trump, hadcast doubt on the 2020 results before his Senate bid.

Howeveron Fridayhe stated unequivocally that Trump misplaced.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaks at a rally in Athens, Ga., in May 2022.

“President Biden received and Senator Warnock received, that’s the rationale I made a decision to run as a result of we want a change in Washington,” he stated.

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Trump has refused to concede that he misplaced two years in the past and has blamed Biden’s win on baseless claims of widespread voter fraud.

Each candidates, irrespective of the winner, stated they’d settle for Georgia’s election leads to November.

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Biden v. Trump II?

Lots of the 2022 candidates have been requested about whether or not they would help a Biden and Trump rematch for the White Home.

Walker made it clear that he would welcome Trump operating once more in 2024, describing him as a private pal. However Warnock did not commit when requested if Biden ought to do the identical. 

Trump and Biden on the campaign trail

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“I’ve not spent a minute eager about what politician ought to run for what in 2024,” he stated.