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If Your Time is short
An ad from Sen. Raphael Warnock in the Georgia U.S. Senate race highlights Herschel Walker’s campaign trail comments about vampires, a bull and China’s air.
In context, Walker’s comments were about faith, not coveting other things and climate change.
Georgia’s Senate runoff election is Dec. 6.
Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., mocked comments that Republican challenger Herschel Walker made on the campaign trail about werewolves and vampires, a bull and pregnant cows, and China’s "bad air" coming to the United States.
The attack came in a 60-second TV ad days before the Dec. 6 runoff election in the Senate’s only still undecided midterm election.
The ad uses clips of Walker speaking in three Georgia campaign appearances, and features several people reacting to his comments.
Walker pushed back Nov. 29 on the ad’s first clip, saying: "The vampire thing is good, if they would have played the whole thing. The vampire thing had to do with faith."
Walker’s campaign did not respond to our requests for comment.
Let’s take a look at all three clips for more context.
The ad highlights Walker’s Nov. 16 comments about werewolves and vampires in a movie, but omits how he connected the movie to faith and his candidacy.
"Do you ever watch a stupid movie late at night, hoping it going to get better, don't get better, but you keep watching it anyway?" Walker said in McDonough. "The other night, I was watching this movie called ‘Fright Night,’ ‘Freak Night’ or some type of night. But it's about vampires. I don’t know if you know, vampires are cool people."
In the ad, a woman watching the clip says: "What the hell is he talking about?"
Walker continued: "A werewolf can kill a vampire. Do you know that? I never knew that? So I didn't want to be a vampire anymore, I wanted to be a werewolf."
Fuller versions of Walker’s remarks show that before talking about the movie, he said: "I want to tell you to keep the faith."
Walker spoke for several minutes about the movie. After the portion excerpted in the ad, he described how in the movie, kids — watching a vampire killer on TV — win a contest to have that person kill a vampire in their attic.
Walker described how the killer carried holy water and put a cross on the forehead of the vampire, whom he said reminded him of Warnock "looking all good in this black suit." Walker then connected the scene to faith and his candidacy.
"He took the cross and he put it on the vampire forehead and the vampire didn’t even do anything," Walker said. "He said, ‘That don’t work,’ and that’s the way it is in our life. It doesn’t work unless you got faith. We’ve got to have faith in our fellow brothers. It is time for us to have faith. You’ve got to have faith in this country. You’ve got to have faith in the elected officials. And right now, that’s the reason I’m here, because God has brought his warrior and I’m that warrior that y’all have been looking for for a long time."
The ad’s second clip shows Walker talking about a bull and cows.
He said: "So, I've been telling this little story about this bull out in the field with six cows and three of them are pregnant. So you know, you got something going on."
The ad omits that Walker was telling a story during an Oct. 11 campaign event in Carrollton after speaking about policy issues and criticizing Warnock.
Walker ended the event saying that "as they’ve been saying, ‘Something is better somewhere else.’ And I’m here to tell you, it’s not.
"So, I’ve been telling this little story about this bull out in the field with six cows, and three of them are pregnant. So, you know you got something goin’ on. But all he cared about is kept his nose against this fence, looking at three other cows that didn’t belong to him. Now all he had to do is eat grass. But no, no, no, he thought something was better somewhere else.
"So, he decided, ‘I want to get over there.’ So, one day, he measured that fence up, and he said, ‘I think I can jump this.’ So, that day came where he got back. And he got back and as he took off runnin’, he dove over that fence and his belly got cut up under the bottom. But as he made it over onto the other side, he shook it off and got so excited about it. And he ran to the top of that hill, but when he got up there, he realized they were bulls, too.
"So, what I’m telling you, don’t think something is better somewhere else. This is the greatest country in the world today, and the reason why is the people."
The ad’s third clip shows Walker saying "our good air decided to float over to China’s bad air. So, when China gets our good air, their bad air got to move."
In the fuller version of his July 9 remarks to the Hall County Republican Party, Walker referred to climate change and the Green New Deal, a plan by Democrats to curb climate change and protect the environment. Then, he said:
"We, in America, have some of the cleanest air and cleanest water of anybody in the world. So, what we do is we gonna put from the Green New Deal, millions or billions of dollars cleaning our good air up."
Walker then claimed China and India aren’t taking the same steps, "so all of their bad air is still there. But since we don’t control the air, our good air decided to float over to China’s bad air. So, when China gets our good air, their bad air got to move. So, it moves over to our good air space, and now we got to clean that back up."
The ad ends with a man who watched the clips saying: "It is embarrassing. Let's call it what it is. It is embarrassing."
A climate change expert, University at Albany atmospheric and environmental sciences professor Aiguo Dai, told PolitiFact that Walker’s remarks about bad air from China coming to the U.S. is wrong.
"Most pollutants have a life of a few days in the air, so most of them get washed out before the air reaches North America," Dai said. "Some pollutants from East Asia may get to North America, but they are often in the layer well above the surface air. So, our air quality is mainly controlled by local emissions."
Dai said China and India's greenhouse gas emissions "may be still increasing" because they are "growing their economies rapidly." But both countries are also rapidly developing energy alternatives such as wind and solar, he said.
AdImpact, Raphael Warnock campaign "Embarrassing" ad, accessed Nov. 30, 2022
New York Times, "‘Is He for Real?’: Warnock Hits Walker in New Ad, but Lets Others Do the Talking," Nov. 29, 2022
PolitiFact, "GOP says Alan Grayson likens Dick Cheney to a vampire and U.S. health care system to the Holocaust," March 2, 2010
YouTube, MSNBC "Georgia Voters React To Walker In New Warnock Campaign Ad" post, Nov. 28, 2022
YouTube, Yahoo News post of Herschel Walker campaign remarks in McDonough, Georgia, Nov. 16, 2022
YouTube, Forbes Breaking News "Just in: Amidst Scandals, Herschel Walker Campaigns With Tom Cotton And Rick Scott" post, (17:30) Oct. 11, 2022
New York Daily News, "Herschel Walker talks vampires and werewolves in unusual Georgia Senate runoff campaign speech," Nov. 16, 2022
MSNBC, "Herschel Walker Discusses Vampire Movie During Campaign Speech," Nov. 17, 2022
The Guardian, "Republican Herschel Walker says in rambling speech he wants to be 'werewolf, not vampire,’" Nov. 17, 2022
Twitter, CNN reporter Eva McKend tweet, Nov. 29, 2022
Jezebel, "Herschel Walker Fact Check: Can Werewolves Kill Vampires?", Nov. 16, 2022
Twitter, WABE reporter Rahul Bali tweet, July 9, 2022
Twitter, Georgia Public Broadcasting reporter Stephen Fowler tweet, July 11, 2022
Email, Aiguo Dai, University at Albany distinguished professor of atmospheric and environmental sciences, Dec. 1, 2022
Email, RepublicEn spokesperson Price Atkinson, Dec. 1, 2022