Republican candidate Herschel Walker flashed an honorary deputy sheriff's badge while on stage for a debate in the Georgia Senate race in response to his opponent, Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock, bringing up Walker's prior false claims he worked in law enforcement.
"One thing I’ve never done is pretend to be a police officer."
"I’ve never threatened a shoot-out with the cops."
In the former statement, Warnock was referring to Walker's 2017 false claim he had "been in criminal justice all my life." The latter statement refers to allegations of domestic violence levied against Walker by his ex wife and other family members.
In response to Warnock, Walker flashed a badge and suggested he was actually in law enforcement. According to NBC, a debate moderator had to repeatedly ask Walker to put the badge away and cite a debate rule that props were not allowed.
Walker misunderstood the word prop in this context and insisted the badge was real:
"It's not a prop."
"This is real."
Rather than acknowledge flashing the badge during the debate was a mistake, Walker fully leaned into it and is now trying to monetize it for his campaign.
Walker has also taken to bringing the honorary deputy sheriff's badge with him to interviews with the press. He reportedly plans to use the "real" badge for a social media video he will film with the man who gave him the honorary badge, Johnson County Sheriff Greg Rowland.
Walker's campaign told NBC they have ordered 1000 similar fake sheriff's badges and intend to use them as a fundraising tool.
The badges will reportedly say "I'm With Herschel."
Walker's campaign said they want to hand the fake badges out at an event with law enforcement happening on Thursday if they receive them before the event.
Walker campaign strategist Gail Gitcho—who was responsible for ordering the fake badges—said:
"Herschel Walker has been a friend to law enforcement and has a record of honoring police."
"If Senator Warnock wants to highlight this, then bring it on."
"It just gives us a chance to talk about Herschel’s support of law enforcement and law enforcement's support for him."
"It’s a great issue for us."
Twitter users absolutely latched onto the badge as a way to make fun of Walker.
This is far from the first bit of controversy surrounding Walker's run for Senate.
Walker has repeatedly made false claims that have either been obvious lies immediately or debunked shortly afterward.
His doubling down on his insistence he really is in law enforcement is just the latest in that series of lies.