Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker graciously invited progressive journalist Elie Mystal to meet him and "break bread" after Mystal viciously attacked Walker's candidacy, but the offer was snubbed.
Walker, a legendary former University of Georgia running back and NFL star, is the current frontrunner for the GOP Senate nomination in Georgia. Former President Donald Trump heavily lobbied for Walker to enter politics and has endorsed his campaign, but state Republicans have expressed concerns that as a political novice, Walker will struggle against Democratic attacks on his past struggles with mental illness and exaggerated business record.
Mystal, a justice correspondent for the Nation, brutally attacked Walker's Senate campaign in a column declaring he "is an animated caricature of a Black person drawn by white conservatives."
"Walker is what they think of us, and they think we’re big, ignorant, and easily manipulated," Mystal, a black man, claimed. "They think we’re shady or criminal. They think we’re tools to be used. The Walker campaign exists as a political minstrel show: a splashy rendition of what white Republicans think Black people look and sound like."
He savaged Walker with personal attacks, writing that he "displays a level of ignorance that would embarrass most sixth graders."
"The modern Republican Party has proven that being an ignorant know-nothing who exists as a pure grievance candidate with no policies or platform is not a deal breaker for Republican voters," Mystal asserted, among other insults the New York City liberal threw at GOP voters in Georgia and elsewhere.
On Thursday, Walker was interviewed on "Fox News" by Sean Hannity and asked about the article. He shook off the attacks.
“I know I signed up for this when I decided to run,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter what he called me,” Walker said, criticizing Democratic policies as wrong for Georgians. “I was bullied when I was a little kid. Words are not going to hurt me right now.”
“I’m the most qualified candidate for this race right now and I’m the most qualified candidate to represent Georgia as a United State Senator. So it doesn’t matter what you say. I know what I’ve done,” he argued, defending his record.
“I’m not going to have you bully me, because you can’t,” he said. And then he made an offer to Mystal: “What I would love to do for you to take the time to come down to Georgia, we sit down and break bread.”
“I’m about bringing people together, not separating people, when it seems like you are … that’s not Herschel Walker," he finished.
Mystal responded after the interview, declining Walker's offer and accusing the candidate of running away from debates with other Republicans and with Georgia's Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock, whom Walker seeks to unseat.
"I'm not looking for a Senator, not a goddamn buddy," Mystal wrote on Twitter.
"I do not care, nor should anyone else, if Walker if fun to have a beer with. We should care about Walker's policies. And when you look at Walker's policies, we find the MAGA gobbledygook stew, injected with Covid misinformation, drizzled in grievance, served on a bed of lies," he continued.
The progressive journalist claimed that he was "an easy target" for Walker and asserted "He'd much rather be fighting with me than: fighting with other Republicans, or Democrats, or talking to his constituents, or studying."
"So *sadly*, I must decline Walker's offer and this transparent attempt to distract people from his own cowardice and unwillingness to defend his policies in public. I respect the people of Georgia more than he does, and will not use this clown to raise my profile at their expense," he said, dripping with contempt over a simple invitation to dinner.