The Georgia US Senate candidate Herschel Walker has said he’s “mad” at Donald Trump because the previous president has claimed credit for asking the previous NFL star to enter national politics.
Walker told the rapper and Revolt TV host Killer Mike: “President Trump never asked me … So, I’m mad at him.”
Trump championed a Walker run for the Republican nomination for US Senate before Walker announced it after which endorsed him. Walker went on to win in a round of primaries which saw other Trump-backed candidates struggle, including in Georgia where Brian Kemp dismissed a challenge from David Perdue for governor.
Walker, 60, was a running back who won the Heisman Trophy for best player in college football while on the University of Georgia, then played for the Trump-owned Latest Jersey Generals within the USFL before making his name in NFL with the Dallas Cowboys.
But his move into politics has stoked considerable controversy. Amid questions on his business record, his widely documented mental health struggles and his all-round suitability for a Senate seat, Walker skipped debates within the Georgia primary but won easily all the identical.
Within the aftermath of his win, CNN published a fact check of considered one of the numerous controversies surrounding the candidacy. Its headline: Herschel Walker falsely claims he never falsely claimed he graduated from University of Georgia.
Trump has helped steer an enormous football name into the US Senate before, championing the faculty coach Tommy Tuberville as he beat Doug Jones, a federal prosecutor and sitting senator, for a seat from Alabama in 2020. Tuberville then supported Trump’s try and overturn his defeat by Joe Biden.
Talking to Killer Mike, Walker said: “One thing that folks don’t know is President Trump never asked me. I would like to inform him that he never asked. I heard all of it on television that, ‘He’s going to ask Herschel,’ saying Herschel goes to run. President Trump never got here out and said ‘Herschel, will you run for that Senate seat?’
“So, I’m mad at him, because he never asked, but he’s taking credit that he asked.”
Trump didn’t immediately respond. The query of to what extent the previous president still controls the Republican party is a live one amongst observers and GOP power brokers, as Trump considers one other run for the White House in 2024.
Walker continued: “Before all this coming about, my wife and I … we went into prayer and I prayed about it. And to be honest with you, I used to be praying to God to bring any person else. ‘Oh my God, I’m completely satisfied, my life is doing well …’ But I really like the Lord Jesus.”
Walker’s opponent within the election in November will likely be Raphael Warnock, formerly a pastor at a church once home to the civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King.
Warnock won the seat in a run-off in 2021, beating the Republican sports executive Kelly Loeffler to grow to be the primary Black Democratic senator from a southern state and the primary Black senator of any party from Georgia.
Warnock’s win and that of Jon Ossoff over Perdue were crucial to Democrats regaining control of the Senate. Control of the chamber, and with it the Biden administration’s possibilities of any further legislative success, is in play again within the November elections.