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GOP Senate Nominee Herschel Walker Says He’s ‘Not That Smart’

After months of avoiding debates during the campaign, Georgia Republican Senate candidate Heschel Walker agreed to a televised face-off against Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Georgia) in October.

Ahead of the event, Walker decided to lower expectations about his performance, saying he is “not that smart.”

“I’m preparing. I’m just this country boy, I’m not that smart. And he [Warnock’s] is a preacher. He’s a smart man, wears these nice suits. So he’s going to show up there, and embarrass me at the debate, October the 14th. And I’m just waiting, you know, I’ll show up, and I’m [going to] do my best.” Walker told reporters last weekend.

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The debate is set to take place in Savannah, Georgia, after months of disagreements between the two candidates over when and where the event should take place.

A spokesperson with the Warnock campaign told the local media the Democratic incumbent had been inviting Walker to debate for two months and accused the Republican for dodging to commit to any of them.

Endorsed by former President Donald Trump, Walker did not debate any of his primary opponents and easily secured the Republican nomination in May despite many controversies surrounding him, including being accused by his ex-wife of domestic violence. The candidate has not denied these allegations and said his episodes of violence are a consequence of his struggles with mental health.

Lowering the expectations ahead of a debate is not new in the political playbook. A similar tactic was adopted by former President George W. Bush against Al Gore, New York Times columnist Charles Blow pointed out recently.

“Walker is Georgia Republicans’ attempt to undermine the image of Black competence, by making a mockery of Black people, by replacing a thinker with a toady,” Blow wrote. “It seems clear to me that Walker will inflate or deflate his intellect to fit a function. The truth is irrelevant. This is at the heart of Trumpism.”

Nailing the debate will be a crucial task for both candidates, as the race in Georgia is considered neck-to-neck. According to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, Warnock leads Walker 52% to 46%. Other polls have shown Walker ahead.

Marcello Correa

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