Another shoe drops
Hershel Walker, the former NFL star and current Republican Senate nominee in Georgia, told Fox News host Brian Kilmeade on Wednesday morning that he doesn't know the identity of the woman who says he urged her to get an abortion in 2009 then reimbursed her for the procedure. "There's a good reason the woman finds that defense highly doubtful: She's the mother of one of his children," The Daily Beast reported Wednesday night.
Walker, who says he supports abortion bans with no exceptions, has firmly denied paying for an abortion and calls the woman's allegation a "flat-out lie."
The woman told The Daily Beast she was "stunned" by Walker's disavowal, "but I guess it also doesn't shock me, that maybe there are just so many of us that he truly doesn't remember. ... But then again, if he really forgot about it, that says something, too."
The woman said her years-long relationship with Walker continued after the 2009 abortion, and when she got pregnant years later, she decided to keep the child even though, she told The Daily Beast, Walker said it still wasn't "a convenient time" for him to have another child. "He didn't accept responsibility for the kid we did have together, and now he isn't accepting responsibility for the one that we didn't have," she said. "And now he wants to take that choice away from other women and couples entirely."
Many prominent Republicans rallied behind Walker, some — like former President Donald Trump — saying they believe his denial, and others saying the pivotal Senate seat is too important to abandon. It doesn't matter if Walker "paid some skank for an abortion," former NRA spokeswoman and conservative commentator Dana Loesch said, also referring to Walker's ex-girlfriend as "some broad." "I want to control the Senate."
Walker's campaign and a wider circle of top Georgia Republicans knew about the abortion story for months before the woman came forward, and Walker's team dismissed warnings it could torpedo his campaign, Politico reported Tuesday. They didn't deny it, "it was, 'Eh, it's not going to come out, you're being hyperbolic,'" one top Georgia GOP operative said, suggesting this is a weird hill for Walker to die on now that it's public.
"You've conceded holding a gun to your wife's head, and stalking women outside a window, and almost killing a man during road rage," the operative told Politico. "This is what you choose not to concede on when there is overwhelming evidence that this happened?"