Herschel Walker says abortion "nothing to be ashamed of"

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GOP Senate nominee Herschel Walker continues to deny that he knows the unnamed woman who claimed in a report by The Daily Beast that he paid for her abortion and now, also says she is the mother of one of Walker's several children.

But in a Thursday morning interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Walker said that if he had done that, he would have said so "because it's nothing to be ashamed of there" and "people have done that." On the campaign trail, Walker has voiced his opposition to abortion, with "no exception," and supports a national ban on abortions after 15 weeks.

Then, in a news conference Thursday, in Wadley, Georgia, Walker denied that his comment that "it's nothing to be ashamed of" was related to whether he had paid for the woman's abortion.

"I was talking about something totally different that happened with my ex-wife and my past —  nothing to do with what this woman said. This, this here, the abortion thing, is false, it's a lie," Walker told reporters. "And that's what I said. I said anything that happened with my ex-wife or what Christian (Walker's son) was talking about, I don't know. But, as I said, if anything happened, there's nothing to be ashamed of because my ex-wife and I are the best of friends with her husband and my wife. So that's the thing I said. And I said nothing about if it did happen because I said that's a lie."

Here's the transcription of that portion of the interview with Hewitt.

Hewitt: Is there anything you need to be forgiven for vis-à-vis a woman whose name we do not know? Do you know who this woman is? And do you need to be forgiven?

Walker: No. Well, that's what's so funny. And I'm saying I've been forgiven because of all of the things I did when I went to my, the thing with my ex-wife and all that, and things I did I don't know how many years ago that I wrote in my book. I forgot. I wasn't perfect. I had my problem with mental health. And I was, I've been, I hate to say I've been born again, but I have a new life. And I've been moving forward, and had that happened, I would have said it, because it's nothing to be ashamed of there. You know, people have done that, but I know nothing about it. And if I knew about it, I would be honest and talk about it, but I know nothing about that.

The Daily Beast report Wednesday that the unnamed woman who claimed Walker paid for her 2009 abortion is also the mother of one of his children, two days after the outlet had reported the alleged abortion payment. CBS News has not independently verified the report, which Walker has flatly denied. He also continues to deny that he knows who the woman is.

Asked by a reporter Thursday if he's reached out to any of the mothers of his four children, Walker responded, "No." Wh not, the reporter followed up. "Why do I need to," he said.

Walker has been consistent in his opposition to abortion; in a candidate survey for an anti-abortion group, the Georgia Life Alliance Walker indicated he supports an abortion ban without exceptions for rape, incest or the health of the mother.

"There's no exception in my mind," Walker told reporters in May at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in Macon, Georgia, adding, "Like I say, I believe in life. I believe in life."

Walker also says he backs a national ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, as proposed by Sen. Lindsey Graham. Some Republicans view such a ban as unnecessary after the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe, or a danger to their national prospects this fall and in 2024.

The reports from The Daily Beast come at a critical time in the Georgia Senate race between Walker and Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, with barely a month to go before the election.

Walker's personal troubles rattled his campaign long before the most recent headlines. In June, Walker said he "never denied" the existence of children he hadn't publicly disclosed before. He told a Faith and Freedom Coalition conference his kids "knew the truth."

"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 in June. "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."

Christian Walker, one of Walker's children, who supports former President Trump and has supported his father's Senate campaign on social media, said he was "done" after the initial Daily Beast story.

"[H]ow DARE YOU LIE and act as though you're some 'moral, Christian, upright man.' You've lived a life of DESTROYING other peoples lives. How dare you," Christian Walker tweeted earlier this week.

Herschel Walker says he loves his son unconditionally.

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