Now that Republican U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker has gone down to defeat in a Georgia run-off, GOP insiders in the state and some of his campaign staffers are admitting his run was a disaster.
In interviews with Politico's Natalie Allison, aides claim many aspects of the campaign -- particularly in the closing weeks -- made no sense which likely led to the loss despite help from Gov. Brian Kemp and a host of GOP heavyweights who came to the state to boost the prospect on Donald Trump's handpicked candidate winning.
In particular, some pointed the finger at Walker's wife, Julie Blanchard Walker, who was deeply involved in campaign decisions that failed to address the realities of a floundering run.
According to one Walker insider, the Senate candidate just had too much history that was detrimental to his chances.
"He should have never run for this seat,” they lamented. "Herschel had a ton of baggage he was not transparent about, and we were constantly behind the eight ball.”
One GOP strategist had an even more brutal assessment about the Senate run.
“Georgia is a red state when we pick the best candidate rather than the rich one or the celebrity,” GOP campaign advisor Dan McLagan said. “Until we learn that lesson, we will be treated to more train wrecks like this one as our nominee gets vetted in the general election like a slow motion Spanish Inquisition.”
Other's attached to the campaign laid the failure to win the seat at the feet of the former president.
According to Politico's Allison, "The person who seems likely to take a lion’s share of the after-the-fact criticism for Walker’s failure was Trump. The former president’s record in the 2022 midterms had been porous prior to Tuesday evening, and Walker was widely viewed as his main recruit. Walker’s son, Christian, tweeted on Tuesday evening that the former president had demanded his father get into the race. Others close to Walker, though, said Trump’s role in his run was overstated. Even so, they conceded, the narrative had largely been set and the former president would likely take the blame."
“The idea that the origin story of Herschel’s candidacy was Trump calling him up and telling him he should run for the Senate, that is not accurate,” they explained. “But you’re not going to get anybody to say that on the record. And the reason why is because it kind of sounds like you’re being disrespectful of the president.”
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