Herschel Walker, the former football star seeking the Republican nomination for a Senate seat in 2022, said former President Donald Trump is sending the wrong message by warning that Republicans will sit out the coming elections if “we don’t solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020.”
Speaking on the Brian Kilmeade radio show, Mr. Walker sided with other Republicans in Georgia who blamed Mr. Trump for depressing turnout this year with his stolen election claims and are afraid he will do it again.
“That is not the right message,” Mr. Walker said Tuesday. “I think everybody got to get out and vote. We can’t continue to look at the past.”
Mr. Trump urged Mr. Walker to run against Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock, and endorsed the onetime University of Georgia star and 1982 Heisman Trophy winner after he announced his bid this summer.
At the same time, Mr. Trump has continued to push the still-unproven claims the 2020 election was “rigged” and “stolen.” He has accused elected leaders in states across the nation — including Republicans in Georgia, which was won by President Biden last year — of turning a blind eye to the wrongdoing.
In a fundraising email last week, Mr. Trump issued a blunt warning: “If we don’t solve the Presidential Election Fraud of 2020 (which we have thoroughly and conclusively documented), Republicans will not be voting in 2022 or 2024.”
Mr. Trump‘s stolen election claims have become a rallying cry for elected GOP leaders and Republican candidates seeking to stay in the good graces of Trump supporters.
The allegations also were blamed for encouraging Republicans to stay at home in the Georgia runoff races in January — helping Mr. Warnock and Jon Ossoff flip a pair of GOP-held Senate seats and hand control of the U.S. Senate to Democrats
Mr. Walker said Tuesday he is “very honored” to have Mr. Trump’s support, but insisted that he is his own man.
“He knows I am the right man for the job, but he also knows Herschel Walker is going to do it Herschel Walker’s way — meaning I am going to go out, I’m going to run for this seat,” he said. “It is not Donald Trump running for it. Herschel Walker [is] running for it.”