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Republicans rally behind Walker after abortion allegations

NRSC Chairman Rick Scott calls allegations 'smears'

National Republicans are continuing to back Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker.
National Republicans are continuing to back Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A report that Senate candidate Herschel Walker paid for an abortion for a past girlfriend has not sent national Republicans running from his campaign in Georgia.

In fact, led by former President Donald Trump, they quickly rallied behind the former NFL and University of Georgia running back.

“Herschel has properly denied the charges against him, and I have no doubt he is correct. They are trying to destroy a man who has true greatness in his future, just as he had athletic greatness in his past,” Trump said in a statement. “It’s very important for our Country and the Great State of Georgia that Herschel Walker wins this Election.”

The report from The Daily Beast said that outlet had a receipt and other documentation including a get well card from a woman who said Walker reimbursed her for an abortion after she became pregnant while they were dating in 2009.

Abortion rights policy has been at the forefront of campaigns across the country since the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturned Roe v. Wade and led to a host of new state-level abortion restrictions.

The White House made three announcements Tuesday that would protect access to abortion and contraception, ahead of the second meeting of the administration’s Reproductive Rights Task Force.

The administration highlighted $6 million in newly available grants for Title X, the federal family planning program, and a new Education Department guidance that reminds colleges that pregnancy-related discrimination is illegal under Title IX.

The guidance states that colleges may not discriminate against students or staff due to a false pregnancy, a termination of pregnancy, or recovery from pregnancy or a related condition.

President Joe Biden, speaking at the task force meeting, said he had also called on Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to look at steps the administration could take to protect students and employees from colleges that are limiting contraception. It follows a recent move by the University of Idaho to limit discussions or actions related to abortion or contraception — including barring dispensing birth control to students — related to a state ban.

“My message to any other colleges considering enacting policies like this: Don’t. We’re not going to sit by and let Republicans around the country enact extreme policies,” said Biden.

Georgia law

On Tuesday, NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia and Planned Parenthood Southeast released polling from August that showed 62 percent of Georgia voters opposed both overturning of Roe v. Wade and Georgia’s state-level abortion ban, which is effective after six weeks with limited exceptions.

Walker’s son Christian, who is active on a number of social media platforms, posted a series of messages denouncing his father after The Daily Beast report.

“Every family member of Herschel Walker asked him not to run for office, because we all knew (some of) his past. Every single one,” he tweeted. “He decided to give us the middle finger and air out all of his dirty laundry in public, while simultaneously lying about it.”

Herschel Walker said in a statement that he denied the allegations in “the strongest possible terms,” and both the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Senate Leadership Fund, the super PAC aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, remained fully committed to Walker’s candidacy.

“This is just like the smears they attempted against Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas, and it will not work. Herschel has denied these allegations and the NRSC and Republicans stand with him, and Georgians will stand with him too,” NRSC Chairman Rick Scott of Florida said in a statement.

Steven Law, the president of the Senate Leadership Fund, said his group was “full speed ahead.”

“This election is about the future of the country — Herschel Walker will make things better, Raphael Warnock is making it worse. Anything else is a distraction,” Law said in a statement. The Senate is currently divided 50-50 with Democrats in control because of the vice president’s tie-breaking power, so a net loss of one seat would flip the majority.

Walker has been polling a few points behind incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in most recent public polling, and Warnock has proven to be a fundraising juggernaut.

Under Georgia law, it would be too late for state Republicans to replace Walker on the ballot.

“I’ll let the pundits decide how they think it will impact the race,” Warnock told reporters, including from CNN, on the ground in Georgia Monday night after the story broke.

Sandhya Raman contributed to this report.

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