A political attack ad, nothing uncommon about that in America. Midterm elections are a few months away and in Georgia, the race for a United States Senate seat is tight. Incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock is leading Donald Trump-endorsed Republican candidate Herschel Walker by about three points, according to several polls, as reported by Politico.
In a race this tight, it’s expected Georgia residents might see an ad that begins with a voice asking “Do you think you know Herschel Walker?” Usually, following that type of introduction, some dramatic music begins to play and the ad attacks the opposing candidate for lies — many times regarding money — and maybe even shady campaign contributors.
This new attack ad on Walker has nothing to do with questionable business dealings or campaign contributors with money in dirty places. It also didn’t come from the Democratic Party. The ad is from The Republican Accountability Project — a group self-described as “holding accountable those who tried to overturn the election.”
The ad begins with Walker running the football for the Georgia Bulldogs when a voice asks if you think you know him. Then dark music begins to play as his ex-wife, Cindy DeAngelis Grossman begins to speak. It appears to be from an old interview of her describing a time when Walker allegedly pulled a weapon on her and threatened to kill her.
If you know Walker, or at least about him, this isn’t new information. The couple divorced after 19 years of marriage in 2002. Grossman has said in the past that, later in their marriage, Walker pulled a gun on her on a handful of occasions, and also put a knife to her throat and choked her.
Walker has said that he has no recollection of these incidents but also doesn’t deny them, because he was diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder. He said that at times he would blackout and not know what he was doing, and then Grossman or his therapist would have to tell him what happened. Those moments are when he temporarily becomes one facet of his personality — an “alter” — whether it’s sweet, violent, or anything in between. It was after he was diagnosed that Grossman said he became violent towards her. Convenient.
During an interview with “Voice of Rural America,” Walker attempted to defend himself against the commercial and did so poorly — as he usually does.
“I’m glad they brought up the attack with my ex-wife,” Walker said during the interview. “This was done a long time ago. It was done to help people, because that commercial there only tells people I’m gonna continue to be a warrior. I’m gonna continue to fight for mental health.”
This was an actual response to a question asked by a person who is on Walker’s side. The interviewer also made reference to “attacks” from “people who claim they are veterans.” Patriot Support is an organization that Walker claims he founded to help care for veterans. According to an Associated Press investigation, Walker overstated his role in the organization. Also, per the investigation, Patriot Support took advantage of veterans and defrauded the government.
Patriot Support is actually a for-profit organization that once hired Walker as a spokesperson. Universal Health Services started Patriot Support. The organization is allegedly one of the ways that the company tried to increase its revenue by keeping veterans at inpatient mental health facilities longer than necessary. Per the AP investigation, UHS reached a $122 million settlement with the Department of Justice and two-dozen states. UHS denies any wrongdoing. Deadspin reach out to Patriot Support for comment, but received no response.
Yes, mental health is a serious issue in the country that needs more resources devoted to studying it so treatments can get better. However, Walker winning an election over a candidate like Warnock would not be a win for mental health.
Not only did Walker reportedly overstate his role in an allegedly shady organization, but he has also said repeatedly that he graduated in the top one percent of his class at UGA, even though he never graduated. He then lied on his campaign trail, saying that he never made that claim. He has also lied about being a police officer, and also about being a class valedictorian in high school. Maybe he’s delusional, manipulative, or even has malicious intent. I can’t diagnose the man.
But what I do know is that he is accused of abusing his ex-wife and threatening to kill her with weapons in hand, and he does not deny doing so. His explanation was that he suffers from a serious mental disorder that caused him to blackout during the life-threatening moments his ex-wife described, and most recently he said that those attack ads from his own party were “done to help people.” He’s also out on the campaign trail in 2022 telling bold-faced untruths that have been quickly debunked.
Yet still, in 2022 America, he’s only trailing in the polls by three points.