U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock is out with a new ad, paid for by his official campaign, praising his Republican opponent, Herschel Walker, for his performance as a football player, but not as a Senator.
The ad signifies to voters the ability to respect Walker’s stardom on the field while still recognizing the difference between athletic skill and political leadership.
Walker was a Heisman Trophy winner as a junior at the University of Georgia and played 12 seasons in the NFL, including as a pro-bowler and for the Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants.
“I’ve always thought Herschel Walker looked good up there,” an older man wearing a University of Georgia branded polo opens in the ad, pointing to a wall with photos of Walker as a young football star.
“I think he looks good here,” says another young woman motioning to her UGA jersey with Walker’s token No. 34 and surrounded by typical Game Day snacks.
A businessman at a desk then points to an autographed football, noting that Walker looks good there, too.
“But Herschel Walker in the U.S. Senate?” the groups says in unison, incredulity shining through raised eyebrows and tone of voice.
The ad then pivots to the topic of the incumbent Democrat.
“We already have someone working for Georgia,” a smiling 2022 UGA graduate, Imani Davis, says.
The older gentleman that opened the ad then adds that it was Warnock who “led the fight to cap the cost of insulin,” with text on-screen making clear the move capped insulin at $35 for Medicare beneficiaries.
The younger UGA fan touts Warnock’s work with Republicans to “improve our roads and bridges,” with on-screen text citing a news article in 2021 about Georgia’s $11 billion share of President Joe Biden’s Infrastructure and Jobs Act. Warnock and his Democratic colleague in the Senate both voted in favor of the bill while the state’s eight Republican U.S. Representatives voted against it.
The ad also praised Warnock for pushing the President to relieve student loan debt.
“I’m going to keep Herschel up there,” the older gentleman says, again gesturing to his fan wall, “ and keep Raphael Warnock in the Senate.”
The ad is running in Albany, Macon and Atlanta.
It makes no mention of current headlines plaguing Walker’s candidacy in the race, related to an allegation first reported by The Daily Beast that the anti-abortion Republican paid for an ex-girlfriend to have an abortion in 2009.
Since the first report, other news outlets, including the New York Times, have verified the unnamed accuser’s story and reported additional evidence, including a $700 check from Walker and a get well card signed “H.”
Meanwhile, Walker’s allies have rehashed in a new ad a 2020 accusation from Warnock’s ex-wife that he attempted to back over her with his car. Last month, Politifact fact-checked a similar ad, posted to Walker’s YouTube page on Sept. 1, with nearly identical allegations.
They wrote that police found no evidence Warnock ran over the woman’s foot.
Meanwhile, Warnock maintains a slight edge over Walker in polls, with the most recent University of Georgia survey putting the incumbent 3 percentage points ahead of Walker with 6% of respondents still undecided.
The race between Warnock and Walker is being watched nationally as both Democrats and Republicans fight to wrest control over the now-tied U.S. Senate. Warnock’s 2021 election was one of two Georgia Senate races that delivered a tie in the chamber to Democrats, with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote.