Georgia’s GOP lieutenant governor recently described U.S. Senate hopeful Herschel Walker as “one of the worst Republican candidates in our party’s history.”
Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan explained to CBS News why he chose not to vote for Walker ahead of Tuesday’s runoff election, where the Republican challenger faces Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock.
“I’m a conservative. I’m a conservative because I think that’s the best way to govern. I’ve been a Republican way longer than a lot of people. I think I probably have kids who could articulate the conservative platform- fit better than some of the candidates that Donald Trump and his group have backed across the country,” Duncan told CBS News Congressional Correspondent Nikole Killion last week.
“That was the wrong brand for Republicanism, and I think Herschel Walker will probably be one of the worst Republican candidates in our party’s history,” Duncan said during the on-camera interview.
GEORGIA BREAKS EARLY VOTING RECORD AS WALKER, WARNOCK RUNOFF SEES OVER A QUARTER OF A MILLION TURNS IN A SINGLE DAY
For at least two years, Duncan has been a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump’s GOP
Duncan, along with recently re-elected Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, pushed back against the then-president when Trump urged them to overturn the results of Georgia’s 2020 presidential election.
Duncan is also the outgoing lieutenant governor. Partly because of his opposition to Trump, he decided long ago not to run for re-election as lieutenant governor this year. Burt Jones, a Trump-backed state senator, won the election for lieutenant governor last month and will succeed Duncan in January.
Georgia saw record early voting turnout ahead of the Dec. 6 runoff. Early voting ended on Friday.
Walker, backed by Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, has been accused of domestic abuse by his ex-wife and also faces allegations that he paid for two women to have abortions.
Former President Barack Obama, at a rally in Atlanta for Warnock on Thursday, criticized Walker for a particular speech in which the Republican discussed a movie about vampires and werewolves.
Walker had drawn comparisons to the film’s message about the importance of faith — not holy water or a cross alone — protecting people from vampire attack.
“It’s time for us to have faith. We have to have faith in our brother. We have to have faith in this country. We have to have faith in the elect,” Walker told his supporters. “And right now, that’s why I’m here. Because God brought his warrior. And I’m that warrior that you all have been looking for for a long time. I can promise you, as my player told me offensive line, “Herschel, follow me. I will take you to the promised land. And I’m going to tell you right now, if you vote for me, we’re all going to go to the promised land.”
Obama sarcastically noted Walker’s discussion of “issues of great importance to the people of Georgia”, which include “what is better to be a vampire”. “I talk about him being a good football player, but I also appreciate that I didn’t think he had the confidence or the character, the service history that would justify him representing Georgia in the United States Senate right now,” Obama said.
Speaking at a fundraising event in Boston over the weekend, President Biden said Walker “doesn’t deserve to be in the US Senate because of his truthfulness and what he said and of what he did not say”.
“The other man is a really, really decent honorable guy,” Biden added of Warnock.
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The final race for the upper house of the US Congress to hold the balance after the midterms, control of the Senate is no longer in play, with Democrats having already won 50 seats to accompany the decisive vote of Vice President Kamala Harris. The race between Warnock and Walker will determine whether the Democrats can extend their majority or whether the Republicans will maintain the 50-50 balance.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.