Acosta and Dale Ask Critical Question: Does Warnock Have A Dog?

News & Politics

CNN Newsroom host Jim Acosta and CNN fact checker Daniel Dale asked on Saturday what might be the most important question of the 2022 midterms: does Sen. Raphael Warnock have a dog? Or, more specifically, is his Republican opponent Herschel Walker lying about him lying about having a dog?

Setting the table, Acosta reported, “A dog is now caught in the middle of the tight race for a Senate seat between Georgia Senator Rafael Warnock and Republican nominee Herschel Walker. During the 2020 campaign, Alvin the Beagle often made an appearance with Warnock in ads, he even got his own profile piece in the New York Times. Walker is now claiming Warnock lied about having a dog.”

Acosta then introduced Dale and asked, “is Herschel Walker barking up the wrong tree here. What can you tell us?”

Dale gave more context on the controversy sweeping the Peach State, “Warnock has been accusing Walker of dishonesty about his own resume and a lot of that is documented. Well, this past week, Walker fired back with a claim that was like “well, you’re calling me a liar? You were even willing to lie about having a dog.” And not only that, in the tweet Walker linked to a video from his campaign that kind of satirically suggested that Alvin the Beagle had gone missing.”

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After playing the video, Dale set about debunking Walker’s claim, “So, Jim, as the slightly obsessive owner of a Pomeranian named Breezy, I couldn’t resist looking into this. Was it true? Did Warnock lie about a dog? The answer is no. He did not lie and again it is Walker’s claim that is false.”

For his evidence, Dale recalled:

So, Alvin, the dog in the popular Warnock ads from 2020, very good boy, belongs to one of Warnock’s supporters and the key thing is that Warnock never said Alvin was his dog. In the first ad in 2020, Warnock just said, quote, “I love puppies” and held Alvin. In the second ad he walked Alvin around the block, he tossed out some dog poop as a joking message about negative attacks against him and he got some licks from Alvin, but there was no claim in either ad anywhere that the dog was his own. 

Dale would also go on to recall Republican Gov. Brian Kemp hiring an actor to play the role of someone who wants to date his daughter in one of his 2018 ads to prove the point that this controversy is rather silly.

The New York Times article Acosta referenced does confirm Dale’s verdict by stating that Alvin belongs to a Warnock supporter and the ads came about as his staff tried to make him more relatable. However, it is hard to take Dale’s fact check seriously when that article was written after the election and it was clear that during the campaign, the goal was to make it seem as if Alvin was Warnock’s dog.

This segment was sponsored by Golden Corral.

Here is a transcript for the August 27 show:

CNN Newsroom with Jim Acosta

8/27/2022

3:37 PM ET

JIM ACOSTA: A dog is now caught in the middle of the tight race for a Senate seat between Georgia Senator Rafael Warnock and Republican nominee Herschel Walker. During the 2020 campaign, Alvin the Beagle often made an appearance with Warnock in ads, he even got his own profile piece in the New York Times. Walker is now claiming Warnock lied about having a dog. CNN’s Daniel Dale joins me now and I guess we—the question is, is Herschel Walker barking up the wrong tree here. What can you tell us?

DANIEL DALE: Well Jim, this is obviously weird stuff, we’re here talking about a dog, but there is some context I think might help people make sense of this. So, Warnock has been accusing Walker of dishonesty about his own resume and a lot of that is documented. Well, this past week, Walker fired back with a claim that was like “well, you’re calling me a liar? You were even willing to lie about having a dog.” And not only that, in the tweet Walker linked to a video from his campaign that kind of satirically suggested that Alvin the Beagle had gone missing. Take a look at this video.

FEMALE SINGER: Pulled from the wreckage of your silent revelry

LOCAL FEMALE REPORTER: Now we saw you walking all those dogs during the campaign. 

RAPHAEL WARNOCK: Oh my goodness. 

DALE: So, Jim, as the slightly obsessive owner of a Pomeranian named Breezy, I couldn’t resist looking into this. Was it true? Did Warnock lie about a dog? The answer is no. He did not lie and again it is Walker’s claim that is false.

So, Alvin, the dog in the popular Warnock ads from 2020, very good boy, belongs to one of Warnock’s supporters and the key thing is that Warnock never said Alvin was his dog. In the first ad in 2020, Warnock just said, quote, “I love puppies” and held Alvin. In the second ad he walked Alvin around the block, he tossed out some dog poop as a joking message about negative attacks against him and he got some licks from Alvin, but there was no claim in either ad anywhere that the dog was his own. 

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