ATLANTA — In all his years of gridiron greatness, Herschel Walker never ran into anything like this.
Walker, a Georgia GOP U.S. Senate candidate, called off a major Texas fundraising event after the event’s organizer, Bettina Sofia Viviano-Langlais, used a Nazi-like image in her Twitter profile. The symbol, which has been removed from the profile, pictured four syringes arranged in the form of a swastika.
Viviano-Langlais, who goes by the moniker “Hollywood Resistance” on Twitter, has produced such films as “Jack and Jill,” starring Adam Sandler, and “Three to Tango.”
“The previously scheduled event has been called off,” Walker campaign spokesperson Mallory Blount told Capitol Beat. “Herschel is a strong friend of Israel and the Jewish community and opposes hatred and bigotry of all forms. Despite the fact that the apparent intent behind the graphic was to condemn government vaccine mandates, the symbol used is very offensive and does not reflect the values of Herschel Walker or his campaign.”
Predictably, Democrats are running hard to tackle Walker for what they call his failure to condemn an anti-Semitic symbol.
“Absolutely vile,” the Jewish Democratic Council of America tweeted. “Republicans are proudly and openly displaying swastikas. The GOP uses anti-Semitism and bigotry as a political tactic, and it’s a direct threat to our community, security and values.”
“Herschel Walker defended a swastika, and canceling a fundraiser does not change the fact he failed to condemn a hateful, anti-Semitic symbol,” Democratic Party of Georgia spokesman Dan Gottlieb said.
Walker, who has been endorsed by former President Trump, is one of four GOP candidates seeking to unseat Democrat Raphael Warnock in 2022’s Georgia Senate race. The UGA football legend recently posted a fundraising haul of $3.7 million during the first five weeks of his campaign. Contributions came from nearly 50,000 donors from all 50 states.
Walker entered the race in late August at Trump’s urging. The two have been friends since the 1980s, when the United States Football League team Trump owned, the New Jersey Generals, signed Walker to his first professional contract.
The other three Republican candidates for Senate so far are Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black; Latham Saddler, an Atlanta banking executive and former Navy SEAL officer; and Kelvin King, a small business owner and Air Force veteran from Atlanta.