Incumbent Democratic Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock waded into Herschel Walker’s own backyard over the weekend, rallying with students at the University of Georgia just one day after the school’s football team, on which Walker was a star running back in the 1980s, won the SEC title game.
Warnock was joined by fellow Democratic Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff, and, speaking to a packed auditorium at the school’s Miller Learning Center, touted his record defending abortion and claimed he was the “champion” for the most marginalized in the state.
“Now let me see if I’m in the right place, is this the home of the SEC champions?” Warnock began, prompting loud cheers. “Congratulations. You all taught LSU a real lesson.”
Georgia stomped LSU in the SEC title game on Saturday, winning 50-30, and will head to the College Football Playoff semifinals later this month to face Ohio State University.
Warnock went on to talk about what he saw as the need to “stir up” student activism in order to enact change, heavily referencing student involvement in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
He later summarized his efforts advocating health care reform, including as an activist and then a senator, before touting his work with Ossoff on helping pass the largely Democrat backed $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill last year, before railing against the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.
“The women of this state woke up one summer morning and discovered that a constitutional protection that they had known for half a century– Roe v. Wade has been on the books so long that women of reproductive age don’t remember a world without it. Neither does their mother, and, in many instances, their grandmother. And In one fell swoop, core constitutional protection taken,” Warnock said.
He stopped briefly to acknowledge Walker’s history with the university and “amazing” talent on the football field.
“Now let me just say, because I’m at the University of Georgia, that I don’t mind giving credit where credit is due … I saw what my opponent did on the field here,” he said. “Heisman trophy, great running back, amazing football player, but we’re on a different field tonight.”
Turning back to the issues, Warnock said Georgia needed “a true champion” when it came to abortion, rights for workers and student debt.
“Georgia needs a true champion, and when it has come to standing up for those who are on the margins of the margins, I’m the SEC champion,” he said. “It would be my honor to champion the concerns of the people of Georgia for the next six years.”
Ossoff, who introduced Warnock, spoke on the importance of students turning out to vote with an ominous warning.
“This is real life, y’all. This is not a game. Politics is not a game,” he said. “It’s life and death. Human suffering or human flourishing is on the line.”
The runoff election between Walker and Warnock will be held Tuesday, Dec. 6.