COLLEGE PARK, GA – Former President Barack Obama has repeatedly targeted Herschel Walker, a Republican Senate candidate in Georgia who is running against Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock in a key battleground in the Senate district.
The former president, returning to the campaign trail on behalf of fellow Democrats a week and a half before Election Day, criticized Walker, a former college and professional football player and first-time candidate, as “a celebrity who wants to do politics.”
Obama, who remains a popular figure in the Democratic Party six years after leaving the White House, is trying to pull off some last-minute political magic as Democrats try to hold onto their majority in the midterm elections. The former president is leading rallies in five states with major Senate and gubernatorial contests.
“I’m here to ask you to vote,” the former president told about 7,000 people packed into the stadium steps from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
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And pointing to the nearly 15,000 voters who have already cast their ballots in early voting – Georgia’s midterm election – Obama stressed “you don’t have to wait until Nov. 8 to vote for you. You can vote now.”
The former president was joined on stage by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, a voting rights champion running for GOP Gov. Brian Kemp is in the race for re-election in 2018. Polls show the conservative governor with a single-digit lead over Abrams.
And Obama was introduced on stage by Warnock, the pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King Jr. he once preached. The latest polls suggest that the margin of error is a race between Warnock and Walker.
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The old president noted that “Herschel Walker was a football player .. one of the best running backs of all time.”
“What makes him the best person to represent you in the United States Senate?” Obama asked the crowd, which responded with a resounding “no.”
The former president charged that “in the case of Rev. Warnock’s opponent, there is very little evidence that he was interested in anything, cared to learn anything about, or show any knowledge of public service, or volunteer work, or helping people in any way. We don’t know about it. And that does to think about it.”
And referring to Walker and his close friend former President Donald Trump – who was best known as a TV personality and real estate mogul before turning to politics and taking Obama’s position in the White House, Obama argued “to me it seems like a popular person. He wants to be a politician, and we’ve seen how it goes.”
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Obama, pushing back against repeated GOP attacks in recent months accusing soft-spoken Democrats of the crime, asked the audience “who will fight to keep you and your family safe?”
He said Warnock was someone who “worked with President Biden to pass the first major gun safety legislation in nearly 30 years,” and he knocked Walker “as someone who carries a fake badge and claims to be law enforcement.”
Walker has been criticized for exaggerating his law enforcement credentials and was called out during his one-on-one debate with Warnock two weeks ago for flashing a police officer’s badge of honor when the conflict rule prohibited any props.
Before Mr. Obama came to Georgia, Mr. Walker slammed the former president.
At a campaign rally held on Friday, Walker pointed to Warnock and said “he is bringing Obama down. Obama doesn’t even live here. So why is he bringing him here to do something for him. Obama doesn’t pay taxes here. .”
“Get Obama out of here unless he wants to come here and he can run for the Senate. I’d beat him too,” Walker boasted.
Following his stop in Georgia, Obama will hold meetings in the Midwestern swing states of Michigan and Wisconsin on Saturday. The former president of two states headed to the purple state of Nevada on Tuesday, and to the important arena of northeastern Pennsylvania on Nov. forward, and the children make the highest competition for the governorship.
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With the Democrats facing the issue – the party that wins the White House is always very worried in the next mid-term elections – and the political situation caused by rising prices, increasing crime and the border problem and boosted by the return of President Biden but they are still under water. , Mr. Obama’s goal is to try to empower the party.