At this point, it’s clear that trying to get Georgia congressional candidate Herschel Walker to explicitly agree to a debate is like pulling teeth from a person who has no teeth. The man refused to debate his Republican opponents claiming he was saving his energy for his general election opponent Sen. Raphael Warnock. But now he’s dodging debates with Warnock like a chipmunk in oncoming traffic.
Weeks ago, there were reports circulating that Walker refused to debate Warnock in Savanna unless he was provided the debate topics in advance. Now, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Walker’s campaign aides have said that isn’t true, but, nevertheless, Warnock’s campaign manager Quentin Fulks hammered Walker on the idea that he should get debate cliff notes ahead of time so he can practice showing as little stupidity as possible while answering questions he just barely comprehends. (OK, he didn’t say all that.)
“It’s time for Herschel Walker to stop playing games,” Fulks said. “The job of a U.S. senator isn’t one where you know the topics ahead of time or get a cheat sheet, and Herschel Walker shouldn’t need one to find the courage to walk on a debate stage.”
Mind you, all of this comes after Walker refused debate challenges from WTOC in Savannah, Mercer University in Macon and the Atlanta Press Club. In fact, his reasoning for dipping out on the Macon debate set for October 13 was that it would interrupt Sunday football—despite October 13 landing on a Thursday.
Now here’s where Walker gets super annoying…
On Wednesday, Walker was at an event at Emerson where he dodged questions about Warnock’s debate condition that topics wouldn’t be given in advance. All he would say is that “I’m gonna debate, so I’m ready for him.” On the same day, Walker tweeted a fake debate challenge to Warnock.
“Let’s lock down Savannah Oct 14th, Senator,” he tweeted. “I don’t care what the topics are.”
The reason I call this a fake challenge is because Walker is talking about “locking down” a debate invitation from Nexstar affiliate WSAV in Savannah on Oct. 14—a debate both candidates explicitly agreed to more than a month ago. See, Walker is out here pending his opponent who has been debate-reluctant when he’s the one who has been ducking challenges like they were more of his secret children.
By the way, the Nexstar invitation stipulated that the “topics would be provided” to the campaigns but specific questions would not, which, according to AJC, is unusual for Georgia political debates. It’s also a weird stipulation considering Walker’s aides are claiming that was never something he wanted.
But let’s just say for the sake of argument that Walker did want the topics provided in advance. It would make sense. But why would it be that one candidate wants a topic preview while the other explicitly said he doesn’t? Well, it’s probably the same reason Warnock has been enthusiastically ready and willing to debate from the start while Walker is dancing around challenges like he forgot he was Herschel Walker and not Muhammad Ali. (Both were professional athletes. One floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee. The other scrambles like a cockroach and manages to stick around like the fly in Mike Pence’s hair—except that happened during a debate.)
See, the two candidates have different things going for them. Walker is backed by a loyal constituency of right-wing white people who love their “Black friends” to be simple, conservative and share their peanut crumb-sized capacity for critical thinking. Plus, they love having a Black person who will deny the existence of systemic racism and blindly denounce critical race theory (while referring to it as “CTR”).
What Warnock has going in his favor is that his opponent is dumb. When walker speaks publicly he sounds like this:
But it’s not just that he’s inarticulate. It’s that he never demonstrates that he even has any clear understanding of any given issue. And he covers his lack of knowledge up by speaking in non sequiturs and word salads. He’s basically just like Donald Trump only he has melanin instead of melon skin.
So, Walker is likely to sound as dense as he demonstrably is during a debate. But, again, that might only strengthen his position with his voter base of MAGA minions who embrace anti-intellectualism like they embrace Confederate monuments in desperate attempts to keep their odes to slavery on their pedestals.
Anyway, when Walker and Warnock finally hit the debate stage together it will be, well, interesting at least.