EXCLUSIVE: Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker highlights that he’s a uniter who wants to "bring people together" in the first TV ad of his general election campaign in Georgia.
The college and pro-football legend is challenging first-term Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in battleground Georgia in a crucial Senate race that could determine if the GOP wins back the chamber’s majority in November’s midterm elections.
"I love this country. I believe in peace through strength. If we have no strength, we’re going to have no peace. I believe in backing the blue. I believe in the Constitution. I believe that everybody should have a chance to have their faith," Walker says in the commercial, which was shared first nationally with Fox News on Tuesday.
"Do we have problems? Yes! Can we solve them? Yes!," Walker emphasizes in the spot. "Georgia is my family. The United States is my family. So I’m going to fight and take care of them."
Walker’s campaign tells Fox News that it and the National Republican Senatorial Committee will spend seven-figures to run the ad statewide in Georgia on broadcast and cable television starting on Wednesday.
Walker, who won a Heisman Trophy and helped steer the University of Georgia to a college football national championship four decades ago, jumped into the GOP race to face off against Warnock last year after months of support and encouragement to run for the Senate by former President Donald Trump, his longtime friend.
Thanks to his legendary status among many in Georgia and his immense, favorable, name recognition in the Peach State, Walker instantly became the overwhelming front-runner for the GOP Senate nomination and basically ignored the field of lesser-known primary rivals, declining to take part in debates as he focused his campaign on Warnock. Walker trounced his rivals in the state’s May 24 primary.
While this is Walker’s first general election spot, Warnock went up with ads soon after the primary, running a positive spot that showcases his record in the Senate as well as a commercial that takes aim at Walker for what the senator’s campaign argues are "bizarre or false statements" made by GOP challenger. The spot uses a past clip of Walker saying that had a "dry mist" that would "kill any COVID on your body."
Walker’s also been dinged by numerous reports that he overinflated the success of his businesses and has been playing defense regarding a number of personal controversies — from allegations of past abuse to children he fathered out of wedlock.
Republicans see Warnock — the senior pastor at Atlanta's famed Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King Jr. once preached, and who defeated GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler by a razor-thin margin to capture the seat a year and a half ago — as very vulnerable as he runs for re-election.
A Quinnipiac University poll conducted June 23-27 suggested Warnock holding a 10-point lead over Walker. But an East Carolina University survey conducted in early June pointed to a dead heat between the two candidates.