CHRIS HAYES (HOST): Well, the midterms are finally over and the Democrats had yet another convincing victory in difficult terrain, both historically and politically. For this to happen for Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock to win in a state otherwise dominated by Republicans particularly this cycle, for him to win for the second time in two years while his party is currently holding the presidency, well, it requires a lot to have gone right for the Democrats and a lot to have gone wrong for the Republicans.
That was actually true for the midterms in general. In fact, this election in Georgia, this both elections, this runoff particularly, it's sort of a perfect microcosm of the midterms as a whole, right? So, on the Republican side, the person everyone is blaming today, correctly, is Donald Trump. It was after all Donald Trump's idea to recruit Herschel Walker for no other reason than because he appeared on his game show The Celebrity Apprentice, Trump has known him for years, and Herschel Walker played football in Georgia, although he had since moved to Texas. But that's about it.
And this was, I think, pretty obviously a bad idea. Like it was a bad idea for Republicans to nominate a whole slate of Trump-backed candidates across the country. But, and this is crucial, unlike some of Trump's other picks in other states, in this one, for Herschel Walker, everyone in the Republican Party down the line was behind Herschel Walker, even though he was among the most flawed candidates put forward by a major party in recent memory.
He and his campaign were routinely almost compulsively dishonest, even about trivial matters, there was absolutely no need to lie about like the fake sheriff's badge, Walker's educational claims, or you know the false claims of working with law enforcement. Of course, Walker has also been accused of multiple very troubling allegations of violent and threatening behavior, some of which he or his campaign has denied, some of which his campaign has ignored, some of which he has appeared to acknowledge and admit but blame on his struggles with mental illness and say it was all in the past.
None of that mattered to Republicans. They and the Fox News political machine were all in on Team Herschel. Folks at Media Matters have a little proof.
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HAYES: OK, so you got -- you got Donald Trump, obviously. You got Lindsey Graham and Sean Hannity. Lindsey Graham and Sean Hannity were like really in on this. I mean, Hannity basically turned his program into the Herschel Walker-Mehmet Oz show for a bit there. But it wasn't just them, all right. Like I said, this was -- everyone was all in. Mitch McConnell, for instance, the Republican leader in the Senate, the one who runs the Senate Leadership Fund, who has been loudly complaining for months about the quality of candidates that his party nominated, blaming it tacitly or explicitly on Rick Scott who runs the reelection arm of the Republican Party, Mitch McConnell, let us not forget, was full steam ahead on the Herschel Walker train.