By JILL COLVIN
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker said Saturday that he “never denied” the existence of children he hadn’t publicly disclosed before, telling conservative Christians that his kids “knew the truth.”
Speaking before a friendly audience at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s annual “Road to Majority” conference, Walker said the revelations about his children had only emboldened his campaign.
“Well, first of all, they knew the truth. You know, I’ve never denied any of my kids and I love them more than I love anything,” he said. “And they didn’t do anything, which just makes me want to fight harder because I’m tired of people misleading the American people. I’m tired of people misleading my family.”
Walker’s comments came after The Daily Beast reported that the former football star has four children, including two sons and a daughter whom he had never discussed publicly. Walker has repeatedly criticized absentee fathers over the years and has called on Black men in particular to play an active role in the children’s lives, holding up his relationship with his older son, Christian Walker, as an example.
Walker, who was interviewed on stage in Nashville, Tennessee, by coalition chair Ralph Reed, said he “knew what I signed up for when I got into this and they don’t realize that.”
“No weapon formed against me should ever prosper,” he said prompting loud applause and cheers.
Walker will face Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in the November general election, with the contest helping to determine which party will control the Senate, now split 50-50, next year.
Walker, who has been endorsed by top Republicans including former President Donald Trump and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, has faced serious allegations throughout his campaign, including that he threatened his ex-wife’s life and spread numerous falsehoods.
That includes having dramatically inflated his record as a businessman, overstated his role in a for-profit program that is alleged to have preyed on veterans while defrauding the government and his claim that he graduated at the top of his class from the University of Georgia. He didn’t graduate, as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported.