DALTON, Ga. — Making a campaign appearance in Dalton on Wednesday, Herschel Walker addressed questions about the lack of an agreed-upon debate with Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock - an issue increasingly becoming a thorn in the side of the Georgia Senate campaign.
Walker made headlines Tuesday night with an appearance on Sean Hannity's Fox News program, challenging Warnock to an Oct. 14 debate in Savannah.
With that challenge comes a disagreement with the Warnock side, however. The senator's campaign has said he's already agreed to three independently scheduled debates, including one in Savannah that would be hosted by CBS affiliate WTOC, which is owned by Gray Television.
Walker's proposal would instead involve an Oct. 14 debate to be hosted by Savannah's NBC affiliate, WSAV, owned by Nexstar.
At his Dalton campaign event, Walker responded to questions about the discrepancy from 11Alive Photojournalist Hunter Joyce.
"I have agreed to two debates and I've been turned down, so now I found out that this election is not about debates, it's about the people," he said.
He did not explicitly reference the second debate he says he's agreed to, but Walker had at one point signaled he would agree to the Atlanta Press Club debate on Oct. 16.
His campaign spokeswoman Mallory Blount later however walked that back, saying any debate he would agree to "must have a fair and equitable format and unbiased moderator," according to The New York Times.
A third debate would be hosted by Mercer University in Macon.
In Dalton, Walker attempted to turn the debate about debates back on Warnock, saying he thinks he's "scared."
"It seems Senator Warnock doesn't want to explain his position to the Georgia voters or to myself, and he knows he'll be held accountable in a debate, so I think he's scared," he said. "I've asked Senator Warnock, don't be scared, I'm gonna do it in your backyard, so you'll have homefield advantage. And I think he's scared, so I'm gonna get out and do what I'm doing - it's campaigning, seeing the people, listening to the people."
Asked specifically why he wants to do a debate with WSAV instead of the independently scheduled debate with WTOC, Walker echoed his campaign spokeswoman's comments about wanting it to be "fair and equitable."
"Debate, debate, debate - what I'm doing is campaigning. There's been a debate, that I wanna make it fair and equitable for both sides, which is the fairest debate that you could ever have, and he knows," Walker said. "It's about the people, the people need to hear how there's a contrast between Reverend Warnock and Herschel Walker - where I don't believe men should be in women's sports, he does. I don't believe - he called our police officers thugs, what, thugs and gangsters? I don't believe in that. I believe in the gas prices being lower, he doesn't. He and I fight for something totally different. I believe in Georgia, he believes in Joe Biden."
Watch the exchange below:
Warnock's campaign has previously targeted Walker in ads for his noncommittal stance on the debates.
CNN reported on an ad last week that said Walker was "dodging" a debate.
Warnock's campaign spokeswoman, Meredith Brasher, told CNN that the senator "believes debates are an opportunity for Georgians to see the clear choice they have in this election, and while Walker said over and over that he would participate in general election debates, the fact is he refuses to do so."
Warnock himself tweeted last week: "I've accepted invitations to three Georgia debates, and I encourage my opponent to do the same."
On Hannity's program Tuesday night, Walker insisted he was ready for a debate and said it was he who wanted Warnock "to be ready."
As of Wednesday, there is still no debate scheduled that's been agreed to by both campaigns.
WTOC reported that it is in "ongoing discussions" for a Warnock/Walker debate. Referencing Walker's comments about committing to a debate in Savannah, the station reported it had "asked the Walker campaign if that includes our invitation."