Don Lemon was perplexed by a GOP strategist's assertion Wednesday that Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker is anti-abortion, despite The Daily Beast revealing that Walker paid for the mother of one of his children to have one in 2009.
Lemon asked Alice Stewart, a former campaign operative for several Republicans including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, whether she can still support the football player-turned-candidate.
Walker "has a lot of explaining to do," Stewart replied. Yet she maintained that as a Republican, her policy preferences are more aligned with Walker's than those of Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock.
"Look, I'm not alone. A lot of Republicans are still supporting Herschel Walker," claimed the CNN commentator, which Lemon said was "astonishing."
"Abortion was the issue that made you hold your nose to support Trump through all of his antics," Lemon told Stewart, a self-described "pro-life social conservative" who recently wrote a CNN opinion piece saying as much. "So now abortion is no longer important?"
"It is very important. It is extremely important to me. And when you hear Herschel Walker-his position on abortion-he is against abortion," Stewart insisted, prompting a quick interjection from Lemon.
"He can't be! He paid for it!" the CNN host exclaimed.
"I'm talking about… if he takes the oath to be a U.S. senator, he has vowed to protect the sanctity of life, and he will vow to continue to fight against abortion," Stewart said, trying to separate Walker the potential lawmaker from Walker the private individual. "Those are the policies that he will represent as a politician. Personally…"
"But Roe v. Wade has been overturned, Alice," replied an exasperated-sounding Lemon, who continued to press Stewart on the issue.
"How can you believe in the sanctity of life if you are encouraging and paying for a woman to have an abortion? Is that not the exact opposite of…?
"I hear exactly what you're saying in terms of what he does personally," Stewart answered. "What he has done personally in his life, may or may not have done personally in his life, and what he has vowed to the voters of Georgia to do politically, from a political standpoint-many voters support him," she continued.
"The campaign has raised half a million dollars since the story came out. So that just goes to show there are a lot of voters that continue to put their money behind him, because they would rather look at the policies that he will represent as opposed to personal shortcomings."
Lemon then jumped in: "I think everyone who's sitting here honestly is shocked that you're saying that. And then everyone in the studio I think is shocked."
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