Remarks made this weekend by Republican US Senate candidate Herschel Walker are raising some eyebrows, showing how the former football star is unconventional by traditional political standards.
Though Walker’s discussion of climate change agreements may raise concerns for his backers, his unorthodox style could also be a secret weapon in his political arsenal.
Republicans streamed Herschel Walker's event from Facebook on Sunday in Hall County. The GOP candidate didn’t take questions.
"You know climate change. I’m going to help you all with that real quickly," Walker said. "I’m going to do it in the Wrightsville way so you can understand what I’m saying."
He then referenced his south Georgia hometown to launch into a folksy take on climate change. After saying that the US has some of the cleanest air in the world, here's what he said.
"So what we do is we’re going to put, from the 'green new deal,' millions or billions of dollars cleaning our good air up. So all of a sudden China and India ain’t putting nothing in there – cleaning that situation up. So all with that bad air, it’s still there. But since we don’t control the air, our good air decide to float over to China, 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’ve got to clean that back up."
Walker’s critics took to Twitter to comment on how the US Senate candidate said what he said.
"How is this man even polling in double digits?" asked one. "Glad he cleared the air," snarked another.
Yet his backers heard a clearer message.
"He is addressing the nuanced nature of trying to control atmosphere," Republican strategist Leo Smith said.
He said Walker is making a valid point – that global air pollution agreements are less effective when they exclude large countries like China and India.
"So he is right," Smith said. "But here’s the thing (voters) like people who have an 'aw shucks' kind of thing more than they like guys who read policy briefs all day long. So that’s going to be endearing to some people, that he doesn’t know how to answer those policy questions in a language that sounds like he’s working for a think tank."
Walker faces incumbent Democratic senator Raphael Warnock. Smith predicts Walker’s clarity will improve in the 110 days between now and when the votes are counted in November.