Raphael Warnock Starts Runoff Election Campaign in Atlanta

Democratic senatorial candidate Raphael Warnock launched his runoff election campaign with a speech in Atlanta, Georgia, on Thursday, November 10.

Walker addressed a crowd at the mural of civil rights activist John Lewis, kicking off the second leg of his election campaign.

“Fundamentally, this is a race about right and wrong: who’s right for Georgia and who’s clearly wrong for Georgia,” Warnock said. “This race is about whether or not the person representing you has what it takes to take on these challenges for you and your family.”

Georgia’s runoff election for senator between Herschel Walker and Raphael Warnock will be held on December 6. Early voting beings on November 28. Credit: Raphael Warnock via Storyful

Video transcript

[CHEERING]

- (CHANTING) One more time! One more time! One more time! One more time! One more time! One more time! One more time! One more time! Warnock!

ROLAND JACKSON JR.: Hello, everyone. My name is Roland Jackson Jr., and I'm a student at Morehouse College.

[CHEERING]

Today, I am thrilled to be here today standing with Reverend Warnock. And I know that in 26 days, Georgians are going to send him back to the Senate to keep working for us.

[CHEERING]

Now, it's no surprise to me that Reverend Warnock had such a strong showing in Tuesday's election. It's because Georgians know that Reverend Warnock is the leader our state needs to represent us in Washington DC.

- Yeah!

ROLAND JACKSON JR.: We've been watching him fight for all of us since he got to the Senate to lower costs, to protect jobs, and to secure funding for all of our schools as well as to stand up for hardworking Georgia families. But most of all, we know that unlike his opponent, Reverend Warnock is a man of character.

[CHEERING]

Georgians should be able to trust that our lawmakers will tell the truth and advocate for what's best for us. But how can anyone trust another candidate that does not tell the truth? Herschel Walker also refuses to explain his history of violent behavior. And how can we trust his ability to represent our state, let alone our families?

Georgians deserve a Senator that has integrity, someone we can trust that when he's up in Washington DC, he's fighting for all of us. That's what we have in Reverend Raphael Warnock. And Georgians know what's at stake in this runoff election. And believe me. If there is something that Reverend Warnock knows how to do, he knows how to win runoffs in the state of Georgia.

- Yeah!

- I know that the people of Georgia are going to send him back to Washington DC to fight for us. We did it once, and we're going to do it again on December 6. Thank you so much.

[CHEERING]

(CHANTING) One more time! One more time! One more time! One more time! One more time!

RENEE RAYLES: Hello, my name is Renee Rayles. I am a resident of Atlanta and a Georgian living with type 1 diabetes as well as an advocate for people with type 1 diabetes. I am so proud to be here to stand with Reverend Warnock because I know he stands for Georgia and for all of us in every corner of this state. I am confident that in a little under four weeks from now, Georgians are going to send him back to the Senate to keep fighting for us.

- Yeah!

[CHEERING]

RENEE RAYLES: I'm confident because I know Reverend Warnock is a man of integrity and that he represents the people of Georgia. Meanwhile, it is beyond clear that Reverend Warnock's opponent, Herschel Walker, isn't ready to represent our state.

- Amen!

RENEE RAYLES: How can we trust Herschel Walker to govern and represent our state with integrity when he can't even be honest about basic facts of his life? Just basic facts. Reverend Warnock reaches across the aisle to get things done for Georgia. Meanwhile, Herschel Walker has yet to provide a solution for the challenges that we face. How can Herschel Walker represent Georgians when he doesn't understand the struggles of ordinary people?

Reverend Warnock successfully lowered the cost of insulin for patients on Medicare--

[CHEERING]

--something they said that could not be done. This is a drug that many people living with diabetes rely on every day. I am one of those people. I actually wear a continuous glucose monitor that tells me what my blood glucose is every single minute. And I'm a multiple daily injector of insulin.

And I want to be really clear about type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is autoimmune. It cannot be changed by diet, exercise, or nutrition. Now, I want to say that one more time. It cannot be changed by diet, exercise, or nutrition. I am insulin dependent. That means that I need insulin to live. It is the only thing that I can use. If I do not have insulin, or most people with type 1 diabetes do not have insulin, we can actually die within a week. That's pretty scary. Meanwhile, Herschel Walker told Georgians living with diabetes to simply eat right.

[BOOING]

Reverend Warnock has introduced several bills and passed several laws that help people across our state, including laws to help lower the cost of everyday expenses. Meanwhile, I haven't heard Herschel Walker mention one plan. He has to bring down costs for one loan that he passed in the Senate to help Georgians. That's why I'm glad to have someone like Reverend Warnock representing us in Washington these past two years. Who else?

[CHEERING]

I know I speak for many of us when I say that Georgians cannot wait to send him back to Washington to keep fighting for lower cost, protect jobs, and stand up for Georgia families. And if Tuesday night was any indication, I'm thrilled that Georgians are ready to give him a full six years.

[CHEERING]

So without further ado, it is my honor to introduce United States Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock.

[CHEERING]

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: Well, thank you so very much, Renee. And thank you, RJ Rolands, a Morehouse man in the making. Give both of them around of applause.

[CHEERING]

[APPLAUSE]

Well, good afternoon, Georgia.

- Good afternoon!

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: I came, really, to ask you one question. Are you ready to do this one more time?

[CHEERING]

Let's get it done. Now, you have to admit that I did warn you all that we might be spending Thanksgiving together. And here we are. So I'm going to need you to stick with me for four more weeks. Can we do that?

- Yeah!

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: Because we've got some unfinished business. I stand here as a proud son of Savannah, Georgia, and as a proud American. And I wouldn't be here without Verlene and Jonathan Warner my mom and my dad, both pastors themselves, lifetime Georgians.

They poured into me the values of faith and love and hard work. And those values of faith and love and hard work guide me to this very day. And that's what's guided me through a life of service. It's what's guided me as a pastor and as a United States Senator. And I know it's going to take a combination of faith and love and hard work to push us through the next four weeks.

So here's what this race is about, Georgia. It's about competence. And it's about character.

- Preach! Preach, man! preach!

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: It's about both of those things. We need to be clear. This is not simply about passing this law or passing that law. And it's certainly not about the process of Washington DC. This is about who we are as Georgians. And Georgians understand the importance of competence and character.

This is not a race about Democrat and Republican. It's not a race of right versus the left. Fundamentally, this is a race about right and wrong-- who's right for Georgia and who's clearly wrong for Georgia. This race is about whether or not the person representing you has what it takes to take on these challenges for you and your family. And believe me. I know that these are challenging times. It's about whether or not we do all that we can to keep the American dream alive for the next generation and for all of our children.

This race is about competence. And it's about character. And when it comes to that, the choice could not be more clear between me and Herschel Walker.

Some things in life are complicated. This ain't one of them. This is no math test.

We all know how things work in Washington. We got the drug companies. We got the oil and gas companies and other special interests. You've got the wealthy and folks who've got too much influence, who are literally squeezing the voices of ordinary Georgians out of their own Democratic process.

And then you've got the politicians who spend so much time focused on the next election, and they're not thinking about the next generation, politicians are more interested in playing political games than being able to speak up and stand up for themselves, and more importantly, for the people that they're supposed to represent. This is a job that demands someone who can be a fighter for Georgia and who is solely focused on doing the job for Georgia. And that's what I've been doing every single day.

- Yes.

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: And I've seen this firsthand. If you're not ready for this job, opportunities will pass you by. More importantly, you will lose opportunities for the people you're supposed to represent. And we can't afford that right now. It's a job that requires knowledge of the issues and a willingness to actually learn more, to understand the struggles of people with diabetes, so you don't say things that are manifestly uninformed and that, as a result of it, inform your lack of ability to get something done for the people who are struggling every day.

You've got to know something. And you've got to be willing to go and get the knowledge you need in order to represent the people. This race is about candidates.

It also requires an awareness of the challenges facing Georgians and a willingness and ability to work with them to address them. Herschel Walker has shown us that he's not capable. He's not ready to do any of that. In fact, he's shown us that he's not really interested in doing any of that.

Herschel Walker has no vision for our state or for our country. Think about it. We've been running now for a little while. And he has yet to tell us what he actually wants to do. Think about that. He's running for Senate. And he has not even told us what he wants to do. Nothing. And he claims that he has solutions. But he says he won't share them because someone else might think they came up with it. I'd explain that if I could.

- That's terrible.

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: And maybe because he has no vision is busy trafficking in division. People who don't actually know how to lead us tend to try to distract us and divide us. But Georgians are savvy and sophisticated. And they're not going for the okey-doke. That won't work in Georgia.

This is a choice about competence and about character. When it comes to character, we all know that it doesn't get any better for my opponent. Sadly, I'm running against someone who lies about every aspect of his life.

- Everything.

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: His own staff says he lies like he's breathing.

- Wow.

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: I'm just repeating what they said, his own staff. We've seen that Herschel Walker has a disturbing history, pattern of violence as women, against his own family. And he takes-- and he refuses to take responsibility for that. And he refuses to even answer questions.

So the question right now is this. Is that who we want--

- No!

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: --representing Georgia?

- No.

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: This is a job that requires honesty. Now, you can call me old fashioned, but I still think that character matters.

- It does. Yes, it does.

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: My mom and my dad instilled that in me. Character matters. Integrity matters.

- Yes.

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: Telling the truth matters. Competence matters. Georgia, you deserve a senator who will tell you the truth and who will actually do the work.

- Yeah.

- Yes.

[CHEERING]

- Now, these are hard times. These are difficult days. I know that Georgians families are feeling the pinch of these times, global inflation. The question is, who's going to do something about it?

- You are.

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: Who's going to stand up for hardworking families?

- You are.

- Warnock.

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: Who actually has some solutions that they're going to put forward? It's difficult. It's dark. But the scripture tells us that the light shines through the darkness, the darkness overcoming the night.

- That's right.

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: So I need you to fight like the future of Georgia and the future of America depends on it because it does.

- Yeah!

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: Are you all ready to fight?

- Yeah!

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: Are you ready to get this done?

- Yeah!

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: Know that it is the honor of my life to represent the people of Georgia in the United States Senate. Here's the thing. You don't actually know you really want a job until you actually have that job. Some of y'all have got jobs and didn't realize what it really entailed.

Let me tell you that after nearly two years of representing you in the Senate, I still wake up every few days pinching myself because I can't believe I get to stand up and fight for the people of Georgia, to stand up for hardworking families. And if you send me back to the Senate, I'll stand up and do that for six more years.

[CHEERING]

- Six more years!

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: And so I'm asking you to do what you've done before. I need you to show up and vote because a vote is a kind of prayer for the world we desire for ourselves and for our children. A vote is about putting our faith into action.

And for those who gave me their support in this election, thank you. And to those of you who made a different choice this time, whether for Herschel Walker or someone else, I want to speak directly to you. Over the next four weeks, I hope you will give me the opportunity to earn your vote. Every day I've served in the Senate, I've been thinking about the people of Georgia. And that's what I will do for the next six years.

Now, we all knew this election would be close. But I've done this before. We've done this before. We know how to win a run-off.

[CHEERING]

Now, that that doesn't mean it's going to be easy. And they're going to throw every dollar at us that they can, every lie, every attack. But I think we have something better. We have the truth. And we have hope for the future. We share the belief that Georgians and Americans have the capacity to rise above the challenges we face and the forces that divide us, to put aside our differences and find that common humanity within us, and to move forward.

I still believe that our best days are ahead of us. And the way to build that is to build it together. Are you ready to get this done?

[CHEERING]

Now, I told y'all this story before. My dad used to wake me up every morning. Doesn't matter whether it was during the school year or the summer time. Doesn't matter what it was hot or cold. At 6:00 AM, same message-- get up.

- Get up.

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: Get dressed.

- Get dressed.

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: Put your shoes on.

- Put your shoes on.

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: Get ready.

- Get ready.

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: You know, when you're 10 or 11 years old, and your dad is waking up at 6:00 AM on a Saturday, I'm like, get ready for what?

- Work.

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: He said, I don't know. I'll figure that out later. Just be ready. The question is, are you ready, Georgia?

- Yes!

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: I'm ready. Are you ready to win this election?

- Yes!

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: Are you ready to take this run over the finish line?

- Yes!

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: All right. It's 6:00 AM. Got dressed. Put your shoes on. Get ready.

- Get ready!

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: Let's win this thing one more time. Let's build a Georgia that embraces all of our children. Let's get it done.

[CHEERING]

- (CHANTING) One more time! One more time! One more time! One more time! One--