Former President Trump and other influential Republicans pledged support for Herschel Walker on Tuesday following a report alleging the Georgia candidate paid for a girlfriend’s abortion in 2009.
The big picture: Walker’s race against Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock is considered one of the GOP’s best chances to win a Senate seat in November and regain control of the chamber.
Trump said in a statement that Walker “is being maligned and maligned” by the media and Democrats, adding that he still fully supports him in the Georgia Senate race.
- “Herschel has properly denied the allegations against him, and I have no doubt that he is right,” Trump said.
- “They’re trying to destroy a man who has true greatness in his future, just as he had athletic greatness in his past.”
Ronna McDanielchairman of the Republican National Committee, said the report “is an attempt to distract from Warnock’s record of failure, resulting in rising costs and out-of-control crime.”
- “Herschel Walker will deliver a safer and more prosperous Georgia, and the RNC will continue to invest in the Senate race,” she tweeted.
Rick Scottthe head of the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, said Tuesday that the party still supports Walker.
- “Herschel has denied these allegations, and the NRSC and Republicans stand with him, and Georgians will stand with him as well,” Scott, who serves as chairman of the National Republican Senate Committee, said in a announcement.
- Scott said Democrats “turned up the smear machine” on Walker because “they’re on the verge of losing the Senate.”
- “When Democrats lose like they are right now, they lie and cheat and smear their opponents,” Scott said.
Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life Americaan anti-abortion group, told Axios it will stand by Walker, saying the candidate “has denied these allegations in the strongest possible terms, and we stand firmly by him.”
That The National Committee for the Right to Life said in a statement that it “stands by its support of Herschel Walker” despite the allegations.
- “Herschel Walker wants to protect unborn children, while Raphael Warnock wants to see them die through unrestricted abortion,” the NRLC said. “The Democratic Party knows it can’t win on the issues, so we’re seeing yet another attempt at character assassination, a tactic unfortunately all too often encouraged by a complacent and willing media.”
Details: The Daily Beast reported Monday that Walker paid for his ex-girlfriend’s abortion. Walker denied the report saying he planned to sue the Daily Beast for defamation Tuesday morning but has yet to do so.
- Walker has said on the campaign trail that he opposes abortion with no exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the mother.
- Walker’s son, Christian Walker, also accused his father of “lying” and “making a mockery” of his family Monday night in a series of tweets.
Zoom out: Walker has previously admitted to struggling with mental illness in response to previous allegations of violence.
- “Most of the things I’ve done after my fights have shown people that you can get knocked down and you can get back up,” he said. “And that’s what I want people to realize.”
- His campaign has also faced allegations that he made false and hyperbolic statements about his past, which included how many children he has.
Go deeper: Herschel Walker’s son accuses father of lying about his past
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional details.