Lindsey Graham on the brink of tears as he claims critics are trying to ‘destroy’ Herschel Walker

‘Herschel Walker is a nightmare for liberals, he’s an African American conservative,’ Mr Graham said, apparently forgetting that Tim Scott exists

Graig Graziosi
Friday 11 November 2022 17:05 GMT
Lindsey Graham on brink of tears as he claims critics are trying to ‘destroy’ Herschel Walker

Senator Lindsey Graham claimed that Democrats were trying to "destroy" Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker to "deter" Black Americans from joining the GOP.

The senator made the comments Thursday on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, in which he worked himself nearly to tears while defending the former NFL player-turned-MAGA politician.

"Here’s the most important point I’m going to make tonight; [Democrats] are trying to destroy Herschel to deter young men and women of colour from being Republicans," Mr Graham said. "If they destroy Herschel, it will deter people of colour from wanting to be a conservative Republican because you just have your life ruined."

Though Mr Graham does not specify how precisely Democrats are trying to ruin Mr Walker’s life, he is likely referring to the former footballer’s numerous scandals, which include domestic violence allegations, claims from ex-girlfriends that he paid for their abortions, and the fact that he has three children he simply had not publicly acknowledged until reporting on the subject forced his hand.

Mr Graham appears to be describing the process of opposition research, in which researchers working for one candidate dig up dirt on their client’s opponent with the intent to weaken them. Virtually all political campaigns utilise opposition research during elections, and the fruits of those labour are often what inform the content of attack ads.

The senator seems to believe that the Democrats’ plans go beyond simply ruining Mr Walker, he claims they want to discourage any person of colour from joining the GOP.

"We cannot let that happen, we need to have his back. If Herschel wins, he’s going to inspire people all over Georgia, of colour, to become Republicans and I say all over the United States. Herschel Walker is a nightmare for liberals, he’s an African American conservative," Mr Graham said.

He then chokes up while begging viewers to donate to Mr Walker’s campaign.

"[Democrats]have belittled him, they have treated him like crap, his family — stand by Herschel tonight, if you can give, give," Mr Graham said.

It’s unclear if Mr Graham was saying that Mr Walker’s family was standing by him, or if he was lumping in the former NFL player’s family into the list of people who have "treated him like crap."

The ambiguity comes from the fact that Mr Walker’s son, right-wing TikTok commentator Christian Walker, lashed out at his father in the wake of the abortion scandal. He insinuated that his father was a hypocrite and a liar.

"You’re not a ‘family man’ when you left us to bang a bunch of women, threatened to kill us, and had us move over six times in six months running from your violence," Christian wrote about his father on Twitter.

Despite the condemnation of Mr Walker’s from his own family, Mr Graham insisted that the future of people of colour in the Republican Party hinged on the former NFL player’s success.

"The conservative movement for people of colour is on the ballot in Georgia," the senator said. "We must help people like Herschel for the benefit of our country and the future of conservativism."

Political commentor Van Jones responded to Mr Graham’s emotional plea during an appearance on CNN, saying that Mr Walker is a "nightmare to the children that he’s abandoned," and "his own son" before addressing the senator’s claims.

"If you’re a young Black person and you want to be a conservative, there’s a guy named Tim Scott I would direct you to, if you want someone in the Senate you can look up to" Mr Jones, who is Black, said. Tim Scott is Black, Republican, and won his re-election to the Senate in South Carolina.

He accused Mr Graham of characterising the reasonable criticism of Mr Walker as an extreme and coordinated attack on conservative Black people by Democratcs.

"If you don’t want someone with [Mr Walker’s ] lack of qualifications and bad personal character to be in the Senate, you now ‘hate all conservatives and don’t want any Black people to be conservative’ — that’s not true! All of us have got conservative Black people in our families, what are you talking about?" Mr Jones asked.

Don Lemon, who is also Black and pariticpated in the conversation, accused Mr Graham of hypocrisy, calling his emotional message "race baiting" and "identity politics."

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