Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker met on stage on Friday for what would be their only face-to-face debate.
Ahead of the debate, Walker warned his supporters that he may not do well in the debate, saying that he’s “not that smart,” and that Warnock would “show up and embarrass” him.
On stage, Walker was very transparent that he was not politically minded but blamed “out of touch” politicians like Raphael Warnock and Joe Biden for bringing him to the political arena.
“For those of you who are concerned about voting for me, I’m not a politician,” Walker said. “I want you to think about the damage politicians like Joe Biden and Raphael Warnock have done to this country.”
Warnock retained his composure as he listed his record in the Senate. He also hit Walker with several questions on his abortion stance. Walker re-iterated where he stood.
“On abortion, I’m a Christian. I believe in life. Georgia is a state that respects life,” Walker said.
Warnock later took aim at the GOP, accusing them of having a questionable relationship with the truth.
“We will see time and time again tonight what we’ve already seen: that my opponent has a problem with the truth,” Warnock said. “Just because he says something doesn’t mean it’s true.”
Walker, meanwhile, regularly brought the conversation back to Joe Biden.
“This race ain’t about me,” Walker said. “It’s about what Raphael Warnock and Joe Biden have done to you and your family.”
While Warnock praised Biden on stage, he did not directly answer a question about whether Biden should run again in 2024.
“I’ve not spent a minute thinking about what politician should run for what in 2024,” Warnock said.
Warnock also noted a time that he went against the Biden administration when they wanted to close a training centre.
“I am glad we are standing up to Putin’s aggression and we have to continue to stand up, which is why I stood up to the Biden administration when it suggested we should close the Savanah Combat Readiness Training Center,” Warnock said. “I told the President that was the exact wrong thing to do at the exact wrong time. … We kept that training center open.”
Walker went back to his message in response: “He didn’t stand up. He had laid down every time it came around.”
“It is evident,” Warnock replied, “that he has a point that he tried to make time and time again.”
Walker also addressed the accusations against him that he paid for a woman to have an abortion and remains steadfast in his convictions that it didn’t happen.
“I say that was a lie,” Walker said. “And I’m not backing down.”
Walker was asked by the moderator if the federal government should ensure that every American has access to health care.
“Well, right now, people have coverage for health care. It’s according to what type of coverage do you want. Because if you have an able-bodied job, you’re going to have health care,” he said. “But everyone else – have health care is the type of health care you’re going to get. And I think that is the problem.”
Walker went on to say that Warnock wants citizens “depend on the government,” while he wants “you to get off the government health care and get on the health care he’s got.”
Walker delivered a response to Warnock’s attack on his opposition to federal legislation putting in place a cap insulin for people with diabetes.
“I believe in reducing insulin, but at the same time, you have to eat right,” Walker said. “Unless you have eating right, insulin is doing you no good. So you have to get food prices down and you got to get gas prices down so they can go and get insulin.”
Warnock was asked about his promise to close Medicaid gap, and also how he would fund it.
“This is not a theoretical issue for me,” he replied, invoking the story of a nurse in a trauma ward who lost coverage when she became sick and, as he put it, died “for lack of health care.”
“Georgia needs to expand Medicaid,” Warnock continued. “It costs us more not to expand. What we’re doing right now is we’re subsidizing health care in other states.”
The debate was briefly paused as the two candidates discussed law enforcement when Walker brought out a police badge.
“You have a prop,” the moderator said. “That is not allowed, sir.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: 11ALIVE.COM
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