No matter how much Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker‘s supporters and surrogates try to clean up his latest remarks about climate change and the green new deal, his poor grasp on policy shines through. But dunking on him isn’t the automatic Senate win people think. It’s also clear that Walker’s base doesn’t care.
During an event with the Hall County GOP, the Republican Senate candidate jumped through different topics, never finishing a complete thought and often light on the facts. Now that gas prices are starting to come down, Walker & Co. are switching their tune since they can’t falsely claim Sen. Raphael Warnock is to blame.
A now-viral clip shows Walker talking about why investing in America’s “good air” is useless because China will take the “good air” and send over its “bad air” in a rant about why the Green New Deal is a waste of money.
In a tweet, campaign spokesperson Mallory Blount tried to flip the rambling statement around to challenge Warnock on China as a major polluter. But that is just an attempt to deflect Walker’s lack of comprehension on yet another serious matter.
The Green New Deal is an often distorted policy used to scare conservatives who claim to care about saving the country money except when it comes to lining their own pockets. But another country that is bad on climate issues isn’t a reason for the U.S. not to do all that it can. And currently, that isn’t happening.
Part of the Green New Deal proposal Walker and other conservatives leave out is the anticipated jobs created, with new positions expected as the country switches to clean renewable energies. It’s not an overnight project and will take investment. A fact check from Politifact debunked a claim by Sen. Ted Cruz last month that the high cost of electricity in Texas was due to the Green New Deal, explaining that it is because of the price of natural gas.
At this point, calling Walker’s weird ramblings “gaffes” is an understatement. And it’s not simply that Walker is not a good speaker. Since stepping into the public eye as a Senate candidate, he has made numerous incomprehensible comments and attempts to address political strategy and policy.
According to a CNN fact check, America ranks in the top 25 for air and water quality. The fact check noted some evidence suggesting air quality worsened under Trump. A December 2021 fact check from Politifact explained that President Biden pulling a permit from the Keystone Pipeline was not responsible for rising gas prices.
Maintained by the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy, the Environmental Performance Index ranks the United States 16th out of 180 in air quality and 23rd for drinking water. The U.S. is also 101 in terms of climate change and 167 in greenhouse gas emissions per capita.
“Lagging its peers, the United States places 20th out of 22 wealthy democracies in the Global West and 43rd overall,” read the summary for policymakers. “This relatively low ranking reflects the rollback of environmental protections during the Trump Administration. In particular, its withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement and weakened methane emissions rules meant the United States lost precious time to mitigate climate change while many of its peers in the developed world enacted policies to significantly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.”
Speaking for around 20 minutes during the Hall County GOP Picnic, Walker made several other wild statements, including claiming Warnock was trying to “bully him” out of the race. Walker compared the incumbent senator to a classmate who allegedly bullied the former football player when he was younger for having a speech impediment.
It’s unclear what Walker could be referencing in terms of so-called bullying, but Warnock has challenged the Republican Senate candidate to debates. Warnock has already confirmed participation in several debates this fall.
A challenge can feel like bullying if you’re unprepared for the task at hand.
While Walker correctly stated that Juneteenth was about the last enslaved people learning about emancipation, he flipped the conversation to claiming the predominantly white crowd was currently being “enslaved” by Democrats.
Wrapping himself in a hyperpatriotic color-blind vision of America, the Republican nominee invoked Jesus numerous times in comments, which cannot be missed considering he’s running against a man of the cloth. Christian nationalism isn’t being pushed by only white candidates.
Part of Walker’s appeal is likely that he says and promotes many of the same concepts as white conservatives, but as a Black man, he provides color from critiques of racism. Walker also followed in the republican tradition of cherry-picking Dr. Martin Luther King’s quotes to fit whatever nonsensical point is being made.
For Walker, the fact that the children of former slave owners now have children with the children of formerly enslaved people is progress. Newsflash, members of the slaveholding class, had intercourse with enslaved Black people and were parents to Black people. Those intimate relationships didn’t change the course of history.
Walker’s best hope is people not paying attention to the race and a Super PAC supporting the Senate candidate by trying to bribe voters with vouchers for gas and groceries.
For his part, Warnock has tried to stay the course by noting his work during his short term in the Senate. But his campaign shouldn’t take for granted that Walker’s viral ridiculousness will guarantee the reverend’s re-election. Many assumed Trump wouldn’t get elected in 2016 because of his outrageous words.
A poll at the end of June showed Warnock with a double-digit lead over Walker. Even before he ran in 2020, Warnock understood the deep work involved in voter turnout and engagement. He has also been steadfast in pushing for relief at the pump and other ways to help American families struggling due to rising prices and inflation.
But it doesn’t matter how many people on Twitter scream at Georgians to “make the right choice,” whoever engages voters and turns them out will likely head to D.C. in 2023.