“OMFG!! Scott Walker’s Got a Love Child?!?!” This was the headline in the Daily Kos on the weekend before my recall election.
A television reporter blindsided me with a question about it in an impromptu press conference at the end of a campaign stop in Colgate, Wisconsin, that Saturday morning. She asked what I thought of an online story about me having a love child in college.
Not having seen the story and — more importantly — not having had a love child in college, I reacted with understandable outrage. I declared that this was just another liberal hit job (we later confirmed that it was), and that these were the things that made decent people reluctant to run for office.
As we headed to the next campaign stop, I immediately called my wife. When I told her what they said, Tonette laughed. She noted that I could not have had a “love child” in college, as we didn’t meet until after I was out of school. What might have fazed someone else didn’t shake her up — especially after all that we had been through during our first year and a half in office.
Our team tracked down the story. A professor at the University of Minnesota told an online publication that her college roommate at Marquette University got pregnant in 1988. She claimed that I was the father.
The article, which was referenced by the Daily Kos, mentions the professor and her freshman-year roommate named Ruth: “Midway through that spring semester, Bernadette alleges, Ruth found out she was pregnant. She informed her boyfriend, Scott, and initially, he was supportive. Yet that support changed to callous indifference for his girlfriend’s predicament after Scott informed his parents of the pregnancy.
“Bernadette reports that at this point Scott began denying that he was the father of the baby, and when Ruth said she was considering an abortion, he claimed he didn’t care, as he wasn’t the father anyway. Bernadette remembers being present when Ruth was dealing with the wrath of Scott’s mother, who allegedly admonished Ruth for trying to ‘ruin [her son’s] reputation.’”
The story went on to say, “According to Bernadette, Walker finally had to concede after the birth and paternity test, but ‘he hid everything he could and had little to do with the child.’”
The final statement in the Daily Kos article said, “The article alleges Walker was determined to be the father after a paternity test. Pro-life unless it’s YOUR kid and your future, huh Scottie?”
The left thought they had me dead to rights. And they might have, if it were true.
Dan Bice, a columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, quickly investigated the story and noted online: “I am getting a lot of emails because of this post. Two things: (1) I tracked down and talked to Dr. Gillick’s freshman-year roommate at MU yesterday, and she adamantly denies that Walker is the father of her child. Yes, she got pregnant as a first-year student, but she believes Dr. Gillick is mixing up stories; and (2) I Can Read CCAP has taken a family court suit involving Scott Alan Walker and mixed it up with the governor, Scott Kevin Walker.”
A media outlet ran an inaccurate story about the personal integrity of a Republican candidate for a statewide office in an incredibly close election. Sound familiar?
I do not know what the truth is in regard to the story about Herschel Walker. It did, however, bring back memories of the “love child” story just before my recall election. The source for the original story was a professor in Minnesota who claimed to not be involved in politics.
She professed, however, that she came forward after watching a Wisconsin gubernatorial debate while living and working in a different state. These televised debates do not attract many viewers from the state for which they are intended — let alone someone from another state.
The left jumped on her story. Unfortunately, for them, these false claims were easily undermined once the facts were laid out.
Again, I don’t know what the truth is involving the current Herschel Walker story. What I do know is that so many in the media seem to jump on questionable stories involving Republicans but largely ignore those involving Democrats.
Does anyone really believe that the story about Hunter Biden’s laptop wouldn’t have been plastered all over the corporate media and social media had it been Donald Trump Jr.’s laptop? Not only is the cover-up of the laptop story an ethical indictment against the mass media, but it could also very well have cost President Donald Trump the election in 2020. Yet another reminder of why so many people do not trust mainstream media outlets.
I know what it is like to be the victim of a phony story concocted by the left. I would not put it past the other side to do it again.
• Scott Walker is president of Young America’s Foundation and served as the 45th governor of Wisconsin from 2011 to 2019.