Former NFL player Herschel Walker, who is running against Raphael Warnock for his Georgia Senate seat, incorrectly said that there were 52 states in the U.S. while responding to a claim from Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams during an appearance on The Clay Travis And Buck Sexton Show podcast on Tuesday, June 21.
The podcast’s hosts asked Walker about comments made by Abrams at a recent campaign rally, where she called Georgia “the worst state in the country to live in,” at a recent campaign rally, per Meet the Press. The activist, who’s running for governor, listed her reasons that she felt that the Peach State could be better. “When you’re number 48 for mental health, when you’re number 1 for maternal mortality, when you have an incarceration that’s on the rise and wages that are on the decline, then you are not the number one place to live in the United States, but we can get there,” she said.
When Walker made his gaffe, he (nor the show’s hosts) acknowledged the reasons that Abrams said were what made Georgia “the worst state,” but he did suggest that the activist leaves to one of the other “51” states (implying that there are 52). “It was totally insulting. It’s insulting, because you say it’s the worst state that you know of, and yet, you’re running for office here,” he said. “If you want to get this Georgia back together, if you want to get this country back together, you gotta vote for people that believes [sic] in this country. If you don’t believe in the country, leave and go somewhere else. If there’s a worse state, why are you here? Why don’t you leave? Go to another. There’s what— 51 more other states you can go to. You don’t have to be here.”
Walker’s spokesperson chalked the statement up to a simple mistake to HuffPost. “Herschel misspoke ― he obviously knows there are 50 states,” she said. Later in the podcast, one of the hosts also mentioned efforts to give Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico statehood, which would bring the total up to 52 states.
Saying the incorrect number of states isn’t the only controversy that Walker has found himself in, in recent weeks. The former football player, who has frequently criticized absent fathers, was revealed to have been named in a 2014 paternity lawsuit with a source revealing that he didn’t play an active role in his 10-year-old son’s life, according to an investigation by The Daily Beast. Walker pushed back on the claims, revealing that he has four children, and saying that he hasn’t tried to hide any of them. “Three sons and a daughter. They’re not ‘undisclosed’ — they’re my kids. I support them all and love them all,” he said in a statement to the publication. “I’ve never denied my children, I confirmed this when I was appointed to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition, I just chose not to use them as props to win a political campaign.”