Warnock urges Walker to skip debate: ‘Half of being a senator is showing up’

Late. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) took a shot at Republican challenger Herschel Walker for skipping the Atlanta Press Club debate on Sunday.

Warnock was introduced alongside Liberal candidate Chase Oliver, while Walker was represented by an empty rostrum.

“I think it’s important to point out that my opponent Herschel Walker is not here,” Warnock said at the start of the debate, “and I think half of being a senator is showing up. It’s half of life. And I’ve appeared for the people of Georgia time and time again.”

Warnock faced Walker in a debate on Friday, the first and only time the two candidates will meet face-to-face before next month’s election.

The race between Warnock, a pastor who defeated former Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) in a special election last year, and Walker, a businessman and former football star, is one of the most closely watched of this year’s election cycle. And a potential runoff in the race could again decide control of the Senate.

Walker, which is endorsed by former President Trump, sent mixed signals about his participation in the Atlanta Press Club debate. In July he said he would take on Warnock at any time but that his campaign needed to negotiate details.

In a statement Sunday, Walker’s campaign suggested organizers of the Atlanta Press Club debate were biased in Warnock’s favor.

“It was unfortunate to see that, even in his second attempt at a debate, Raphael Warnock could not give a single straight answer,” Walker spokesman Will Likely said in a statement. “Winners don’t need a second try, and Herschel Walker was the clear winner of Friday’s debate.”

Walker will join Fox News host Sean Hannity for a town hall on Monday that will be taped in the afternoon and air at

Despite Walker’s absence Sunday, Warnock repeatedly took shots at his GOP challenger Sunday night, saying his opponent was unaware of the “basic facts” of his life and was a serial liar.

“I have never been violent towards anyone for any reason. I have spent my whole life as a citizen, as a priest in Dr. King’s church imbued with the philosophy of nonviolence,” he said.

“My opponent, on the other hand, has a well-documented history of violence and he has not come clean about it.”

Walker’s ex-wife has said he held a gun to her head and threatened to kill her, a claim featured in an attack ad earlier in the campaign.

Another woman, the mother of one of Walker’s children, has said he paid for her to have an abortion, despite campaigning in support of strict abortion bans. Walker has denied the accusation.

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