Trump Steering Clear of Georgia Runoff

Former president doesn't plan a rally for Herschel Walker, which could backfire
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2022 10:55 AM CST
Trump Steering Clear of Georgia Runoff
Former President Donald Trump hugs Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker during a rally in Perry, Ga., on Sept. 25, 2021.   (AP Photo/Ben Gray)

As the Senate runoff in Georgia heads into crunch time, one big name won't be playing a public role. Politico and the New York Times report that Donald Trump has no plans to stage one of his signature rallies for Herschel Walker. Trump is still a strong supporter of Walker in his race against Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock, but both stories note that a Trump appearance in the state might do more harm than good for the GOP challenger. (The Politico headline in particular makes this point: "Walker to Trump: Please phone it in.") The former president's influence has run into a wall in the state, where his chosen candidates for governor and secretary of state both were defeated soundly in the primaries.

"I think he'd be more effective if he did it by phone," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Georgia Republican, tells Politico. That might translate into an automated Trump call to GOP voters in the state on the eve of the Dec. 6 election. Trump did praise Walker while launching his own reelection campaign at Mar-a-Lago—and Warnock promptly turned the praise into a political ad urging voters to "Stop Donald Trump" and "Stop Herschel Walker." The fear among top Republicans hoping for a Walker victory is that a strong Trump presence will further motivate Democrats to vote in the runoff, per the Times. A person close to the Walker campaign describes to Politico the "complicated dynamic" at play, one in which Walker hasn't requested a Trump visit, and Trump hasn't asked to come. (Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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