Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was against Georgia Republican Herschel Walker's candidacy before he was for it.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has dropped his opposition to Georgia Republican Senate hopeful Herschel Walker, doing a 180-degree turnaround to endorse the ex-NFL player who has been accused by multiple women of domestic violence.
McConnell initially opposed Walker's candidacy this summer: CNN reported in August that McConnell was searching for alternative candidates, fearing that the domestic violence allegations against Walker would doom the GOP's chances at winning Georgia's hotly contested Senate race against incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in November 2022.
But now that former President Donald Trump has officially endorsed him, Walker has raised millions for his campaign, and the political climate is looking more favorable for Republicans, McConnell is officially endorsing Walker's candidacy.
"Herschel is the only one who can unite the party, defeat Senator Warnock, and help us take back the Senate," McConnell said in a statement to Politico on Wednesday. "I look forward to working with Herschel in Washington to get the job done."
Walker has been accused by two women of pointing guns at their heads during arguments.
Court records show that Walker's ex-wife, Cindy Grossman, said that he once pointed a gun at her head and said, "I'm going to blow your f'ing brains out." Grossman, who obtained a protective order against Walker in 2005, also alleged in a divorce filing that Walker was "physically abusive" and exhibited "extremely threatening behavior."
In a 2012 police report, Myka Dean, a ex-girlfriend of Walker's who died in 2019, accused him of threatening to "blow her head off" with a gun when she attempted to break up with him.
Walker has denied both allegations.
This is not the first time McConnell has overcome his reservations about a Republican candidate credibly accused of violence or assault.
In December 2017, McConnell backtracked on his criticism of Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore, who had been accused by four women of molesting them or initiating relationships with them when they were children and teens and he was in his 30s.
McConnell had initially worked to try to get Moore off the ballot in order to save the Senate seat, which was vacant after Trump appointed Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general.
But when it became clear that Moore wasn't going to back down and Republicans were stuck with him, McConnell said it was up to voters to decide and stopped criticizing the candidate. Moore went on to lose the special election to Democrat Doug Jones.
McConnell isn't the only Republican who has endorsed Walker's candidacy.
Walker isn't the only Republican running in the 2022 midterms who has been accused of domestic violence.
Sean Parnell, who is running for Senate in Pennsylvania with Trump's endorsement, has also been accused of abuse by his estranged wife. Parnell denies the allegations.
Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, who is now running for an open Senate seat, has been accused by a former hairstylist of sexual assault and taking nude photos of her without her consent in order to blackmail her into silence. Greitens admits he had an affair with the woman, but denies the assault and blackmail allegations.
The Georgia Senate seat is one of the most competitive on the map in 2022.
Warnock won a special election runoff against incumbent Republican appointee Sen. Kelly Loeffler in January by just 2 points to fill the remainder of former Sen. Johnny Isakson's term until January 2023. The upcoming Senate race is for a full six-year term.
With the Senate currently divided evenly 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats, the GOP needs to flip just one seat to win back control of the chamber.
If McConnell returns to his former position as majority leader, he could block Biden's agenda for the remaining two years of his first term, including any of Biden's judicial nominees — including to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.