Warnock and Walker debate for a seat in the Senate



(Left) Senator Raphael Warnock and (right) Herschel Walker debate on Friday, Oct. 14, discussing present issues just before early voting begins on Monday, Oct. 17. This election is a part of the midterms and will determine who will lead Georgia in the Senate.

Shea Edwards

Republican senatorial candidate Herschel Walker and Democratic candidate Raphael Warnock faced off in a debate Friday, discussing the current state of the economy, the previous presidential election, abortion, student debt and gun violence, as senate early voting approaches on Monday, Oct. 17. 

The debate began with the current state of the economy on a national and state level as inflation rates continue to rise. The floor is first opened up to Walker to address his previous outward blame of President Biden and other Democrats for the dramatic increase in inflation under Pres. Biden’s term and is asked what he would do to change the state of the economy if elected. He answers by primarily blaming both Senator Warnock and Pres. Biden for these economic declines. When asked a follow-up question on whether he might consider cutting military funding or spending on social services to accomplish his goal of economic recovery, he replies with a quick no and that, “we’re at a brink of war… we have to be ready for war.” 

When asked to Warnock about if he has taken any responsibility for the financial hardships that Georgians currently face, he responds by addressing who he deems the ones at fault in this particular issue: the “corporate actors” and the pharmaceutical industry that are seeing profit from this state of distress for many. 

In 2020, Georgia became an epicenter for questions on voter fraud. When questioned about his stance on the subject, Walker said, “President Biden won, and Sen. Warnock won. That’s the reason I decided to run.”

Walker was prompted to respond to the allegation of his girlfriend having an abortion per his request despite open expression of his pro-life views regarding the abortion debate. Walker claims the allegation to be false.  Walker then continuously mentions Warnock’s relations with President Joe Biden in regards to political ideals. 

Walker explained his stance on the abortion debate following the overturn of Roe v. Wade with full support of the Heartbeat Bill. The bill includes exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. Warnock views Walker’s stance as showing no mercy for the mother, and Walker views Warnock’s perspective as ignoring “the baby in the room as well,” referring to Warnock’s analogy that there isn’t room for politicians, the government and the mother in the doctor’s ‘room’ when deciding on an abortion and that the decision should be made by the mother in question. 

When asked about student debt and loan forgiveness and how they may be implemented in the future by a student at the University of Georgia, Warnock highlighted his belief in student loan forgiveness that he thinks enables entrepreneurship and home ownership, and in not just four-year institutions, but instead, help those in technical schools and beyond. Warnock insists on a “reform” and that the constant abundance of student loan debt that America faces as a result of expensive college tuition, shouldn’t be a recurring issue. 

Walker persists in his opinion that Warnock has “gotten good at Washington”, in his belief that Warnock continues to evade answering questions. Walker answers the same question posed to Warnock by saying that it is “not fair” to the taxpayers of Georgia, who’s tax-dollars may go to student debt forgiveness efforts. 

In terms of the next steps to lower the current increasing state of gun violence across the state and on a national level, Warnock spoke to promote the legislation that he passed, the Investor Protection Act, in which smaller law enforcement entities are supported. 

Walker rebutted saying he will not support any law or bill that affects anyone’s Second Amendment rights. Walker pulled out what he claims to be a “real” police badge to continue to back his argument about his close relations with Georgia’s police enforcement. Moderator Tina Tyus-Shaw reprimanded Walker for disregarding the rules of the debate by using a “prop.”

In the closing statements, Warnock recognizes his “awesome responsibility,” while given the opportunity to represent the approximately 11 million people inhabiting Georgia, who continue to inspire him to work hard for these hardworking families.” In concluding his final thoughts he quotes Scripture from the Bible saying, “‘… the light shines in the darkness and the darkness overcometh it not.” 

Ending the debate, Walker again reflects on what Senator Warnock and Pres. Biden have previously “done” to the country, in negative connotations, and what his opponent Warnock had said during the debate. He presses the need for leaders in the country and ensures that, unlike his opponent, he can lead Georgia. 

The midterm election process will continue as early voting elections begin on Monday, Oct. 17, and will continue until Tuesday, Nov. 8, Election Day.