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Herschel Walker during an NBC News interview with Kristen Welker
Herschel Walker during an NBC News interview.NBC News

Herschel Walker's NBC News interview: On the issues

Walker's almost hour-long interview touched on a host of policy issues, as well as key flashpoints in the race.


NBC News' Kristen Welker sat down for a lengthy interview with Georgia Republican Senate nominee Herschel Walker.

Here are some key takeaways from the interview on the policy front:

Energy independence his first goal to help economy

"The first day in office, [what] I want to do is get our domestic energy back," Walker said when asked about what he would want to tackle first if elected.

Walker expanded on the issue earlier in the interview, explaining that his top economic issue is getting "our energy independence back."

"We can't continue to go and ask our enemy for oil. And people ask: What do you mean by that? What I mean by that is we have some of the most effective oil drilling in the world today. But yet, we're going to other places and asking them."

On prescription drugs and insulin: "I do stand by those statements"

When asked about his comments during Friday's debate downplaying the importance of insulin compared to healthy eating, Walker said he stood by them (people with type 1 diabetes, and some with type 2 diabetes, are considered insulin dependent).

"I said lowering insulin ain’t going to help. Let me tell you the reason why: My mom is on insulin. If you don’t eat right, it’s not going to do anything. And that’s exactly what I said, you got to lower the price of food as well. Just lowering insulin doesn’t do it," he said.

Reiterates support for Georgia's abortion restrictions

Walker has faced allegations (which he denies) that he urged a former girlfriend to get an abortion after she became pregnant with their child and paid for that procedure. Questions about that allegation were a flashpoint in the weekend interview, but Walker also spoke more about his policy views on the subject of abortion rights.

Earlier in the campaign, the New York Times reported that when Walker was asked about his thoughts on a ban on abortion, he replied: "There’s no exception in my mind."

But in recent weeks, Walker has said that he supports Georgia's 2019 law restricting abortions after about six weeks, which allows for certain rape/incest/life of the mother exceptions.

Walker denied he had shifted his position.

"I say I'm for life, but I also said I'm for what the people want. I represent the people of Georgia," he said.

"The Georgia 'heartbeat bill' has exceptions in it, and that's what the people want."

On his mental health and past allegations of violence

Walker said he no longer struggles with Dissociative Identity Disorder, a mental illness he's spoken and written about having in the past, comparing his recovery to moving houses.

"Everybody wants to talk about a house I used to live in. I don’t live there no more," he said.

Walker's ex-wife had previously accused him of threatening to kill her more than a decade ago, something Walker says he doesn't remember. Another former partner claimed he threatened her, according to a 2012 police report — Walker's campaign spokeswoman told the Atlanta Journal Constitution "Herschel emphatically denies these false claims," adding that they were "baseless allegations" being used for "political mudslinging."

When asked about those allegations, as well as newer allegations of violence by one of his sons, Christian, in a social media video, Walker deflected by saying he loves his family, that he and his ex-wife remain friends and criticizing his opponent, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock over an allegation from an ex-wife that he ran over her foot (Warnock denies that allegation).

"I love my son Christian, I love my whole family. I will always love them," he said.

"What I wrote about is in my book, I've been very open in my book ... So I move on with my campaign to win this election."

On crime and law enforcement

Crime has become a major issue in the race, like in many other Senate races this cycle. When asked what he'd specifically support to address crime, Walker remained vague.

"It's got to be something dealing with supporting our men and women in blue," he said.

Walker went on to criticize opponents of cash bail and decisions to release some prisoners early.

When pressed, he added that "certain chokeholds probably need to be banned" for police officers to use, but said the focus on police reform shouldn't be the lens through which this issue is viewed.

"Police is not the problem," he said.

"But let's first get down to the root of the problem. The root of the problem is leaders in Washington have shown disrespect for the police. So now recruitment is down, now their morale is down, and that's a problem."

On working with Democrats

Asked if he can name one thing that President Biden's done that he supports, Walker replies "He eats a lot of ice cream."

Despite a lengthy back and forth, Walker couldn't come up with an answer to the question: "I'm sorry to tell you, there, I may have to think about it because it seems like since he's gotten into office, everything is going down the drain."

He didn't name a policy area where he'd work with Democrats either, when asked, instead saying that he would be a "unifier."

Other policy takeaways

During a round-robin on foreign policy, Walker said he would not approve sending American troops to Ukraine and repeated that he supports “making our military strong.”

He said he would want to sit on the Agriculture Committee if elected because “that’s a huge industry here in Georgia.”