Last Updated on October 19, 2022
According to several pundits and onlookers, GOP challenger Herschel Walker defeated the incumbent Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, in the 2022 Georgia Senate Debate on Friday night. Walker surprised nearly everyone with his performance, including critics both within and without the GOP.
Who won the 2022 Georgia Senate Debate between Herschel Walker (R) and Raphael Warnock (D)?
— Addy Adds (@OneAddyAdds) October 18, 2022
Walker drew high praise for an exchange in which he pressed the incumbent over insulin price hikes under Biden.
“I believe in reducing insulin but at the same time you’ve gotta eat right. He may not know and I know many people that is on insulin and unless you’re eating right, insulin is doing you no good. So you have to get food prices down and you’ve got to get gas down so they can go get insulin. You continue to pat yourself on the back but right now families are starving, right now families are hurting, and they’re hurting because of the bills and the laws you’re passing right now,” Walker asserted.
“Too many people in Washington think they work for the pharmaceutical companies. I work for the people of Georgia,” Warnock shot back.
“He’s in Washington,” Walker said. “You’re in Washington. You’re in Washington and you’re the leader.”
“We passed the Inflation Reduction Act,” Warnock repeated. “He’s already told you he would vote against it.”
“It didn’t even reduce inflation,” Walker responded, drawing a few audible laughs from the in-studio audience.
Later in the debate, the Georgia University football legend advocated for energy independence and stated that he is against military spending cuts.
Then, in another key exchange, Warnock was asked how Georgia Senate Bill 202 made it more difficult for minority voters to participate, he did not directly answer the question but instead said he hoped people would get out and vote.
“S.B. 202, really it made it easier to vote and harder to cheat. [The moderator] mentioned that more people turned out for the primary, so, you’ve gotten good in Washington and not answering questions, because that was the question she asked you,” Walker replied when Warnock attempted to change the subject. Audible laughter could be heard from the in-person crowd in response.
Walker was then asked about the validity of the 2020 election results, a question that nearly every Republican has been receiving in 2022 debates.
“President Biden won and Senator Warnock won and that’s the reason I decided to run because we need a change in Washington. We need a leader that is going to stand up to foreign leaders. We need people that’s going to stand up for people in Georgia,” he said.
As many expected, Walker brought up Warnock’s history of voting in line with President Joe Biden.
“He just mentioned he stands for the people of Georgia but can he tell me why he voted with Joe Biden 96% of the time if he’s in it for Georgia? That tells you that he’s for Joe Biden, I’m for Georgia,” he said.
The senatorial hopefuls also clashed, as expected, on the topic of abortion. Later in the debate, the issue of the Supreme Court was raised.
“Would you support a complete ban on the national level?” the moderator asked Walker. “I support the Heartbeat Bill, because that’s the people of the people by Governor Kemp,” Walker stated. “I’m a Christian, I believe in life. Georgia is a state that respects life and I’ll be a senator that protects life.”
“I heard him, he’s a neat talker. Did he not mention there’s a baby in his room as well?” Walked asked.”Instead of aborting those babies, why aren’t you baptizing those babies?”
“He says no exceptions even in the case of rape, incest, or the life of the mother. I think that’s extreme,” Warnock asserted.
“There is exceptions for that in the Heartbeat Bill,” Walker replied.
The moderator later mentioned a tweet that Warnock posted with regards to evictions.
“Unemployment benefits have expired, rent is due today, and many Georgia families are at risk of eviction in the middle of a pandemic,” the incumbent Peach State senator wrote.
Unemployment benefits have expired, rent is due today, and many Georgia families are at risk of eviction in the middle of a pandemic.
My opponents are supposed to be serving the people in Washington, but they're clearly only concerned with serving their own interests
— Reverend Raphael Warnock (@ReverendWarnock) August 1, 2020
“Recent published reports talk about a property that your church owns, Columbia Towers, at MLK Homes in Atlanta. It’s a home for the disadvantaged. At least a dozen lawsuits have been filed by residents evicted for not being able to pay their rent. Some of the outstanding balances are less than 30 dollars. As someone who receives more than $7,000 for a housing allowance from Ebenezer Baptist Church, how do you explain this to Georgia voters who are struggling currently to make ends meet?” the moderator asked Warnock directly.
The Democrat senator alleged that Walker was “stooped” to “sully” the name of his church, but did not answer the question.
“So just to clarify , your position is that the allegations in these lawsuits are not true?” the moderator asked.
“I am saying that it’s very obvious that my opponent and his allies are trying to sully Ebenezer Baptist Church,” Warnock replied.
“That means it’s probably the truth,” Walker said grinning, which again got some laughs.
"At least a dozen lawsuits have been filed by residents evicted for not being able to pay their rent. Some of the outstanding balances are less than 30 dollars. As someone who receives more than $7,000 for a housing allowance from Ebenezer Baptist Church, how do you explain this pic.twitter.com/tzHibsFbvh
— Addy Adds (@OneAddyAdds) October 19, 2022
The moderator continued to press Warnock.
“Your ex-wife filed a lawsuit saying she had to pay for increased child support, saying she had to pay for childcare on days that your duties as a senator interfered with your parenting time, citing significant increases in your income. What is your response to that lawsuit?” the moderator asked.
Warnock went on to say he cares about his children and supports them, before Walker offered to pay the rent of the tenants.
“We have not evicted those tenants,” Warnock claimed.
“I didn’t write the article,” Walker replied.
“You can tell that he is so desperate right now he really wants that seat. He’s now telling you I didn’t evict anyone. It is written in the paper ‘I didn’t do this,’ well senator, you did. Do not bear false witness, senator. Do not bear false witness,” Walker said, citing the 8th Commandment of the Bible.
The question-dodging of Warnock continued more or less unabated throughout the night.
“Senator Warnock a simple yes or no here, you will have a chance to explain, would you support President Biden running for a second term in 2024?” the moderator asked.
“I’ve not spent a minute thinking about what politician should run for what in 2024.”
“Is that a yes or a no?
“I, I, The answer is, I have not….and maybe this is difficult…maybe this is difficult for people to understand because that’s how politicians think,” Warnock said in response.
He then went on to say he hopes people vote in this year’s election.
The crowd was heard laughing in response after the moderator attempted again to ask the question.
“You haven’t thought about it if you could think about it now, in 2024 the President will turn 82 years old. Are you concerned about his physical and mental fitness at that time?” the moderator asked.
“The people of Georgia hired me regardless of who is in the White House,” Warnock replied.
Walker was resolute in his support of former President Trump.
“Yes, I would. President Trump is my friend. I won’t leave my allies, which is what Senator Warnock and Joe Biden did in Afghanistan. They left their allies and right now on a foreign stage a lot of these people don’t trust no more.
“Like I said, Trump is my friend, and he won’t stand with Biden when he has stood with him 96% of the time? Let’s be real,” Walker concluded.
Early voting is well underway in Goergia, and it is noteworthy that the other candidate on the ballot in the Peach State senatorial race, Chase Oliver (L), was not invited to the debate, despite the fact he made a public request to do so.
I'm on the ballot
I should be on the debate stage
It's a disservice to voters otherwise pic.twitter.com/yjyNiuvFv4
— Chase Oliver (@ChaseForLiberty) September 14, 2022