GOP Senate campaign ad hits Warnock over MLB All-Star Game move

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) is swinging away at Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.).

The GOP Senate campaign arm released a 30-second ad Thursday accusing Warnock of failing to prevent Major League Baseball (MLB) from moving next week’s All-Star Game to Denver from Atlanta amid protests of Georgia’s new elections law.

The ad shows baseball stadium scenes as a voiceover narrates: “Baseball’s Midsummer Classic: The All-Star game. A $100 million boost to Georgia’s economy, until the radical left woke crowd took it all away, forcing the MLB to boycott Georgia.

“Even [former Georgia gubernatorial candidate] Stacey Abrams opposed the boycott,” the narrator continues, “but Senator Warnock refused to oppose it.” At that point, the ad cuts to footage of Warnock telling CNN on March 28, “I think we all have to use our voices.”

“Senator Warnock’s voice cost Georgia $100 million,” the voiceover concludes. “Play ball. Donate today.”

The NRSC said the ad would air in Georgia during Monday’s Home Run Derby on ESPN and during Tuesday’s All-Star Game on Fox. According to Fox News, which was first to report on the commercial, the ad buy will cost the RNC about $100,000 in total.

MLB announced on April 2 it was moving the All-Star Game and its amateur draft out of Atlanta, with Commissioner Rob Manfred saying the league “fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions at the ballot box.”

The law, which was enacted by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in late March, imposes new rules on absentee voting — including requiring a photo ID and shortening the absentee voting window — and also allows state officials to take over local elections work in response to alleged mismanagement. Democrats, including President Biden, have argued the law would restrict turnout, particularly among poor and African-American voters.

MLB shifted the All-Star Game to Coors Field in Denver.
MLB shifted the All-Star Game to Coors Field in Denver.
Denver Post via Getty Images

“The decision by MLB is a result of politicians silencing Georgians to stay in power,” Warnock tweeted in response to MLB’s announcement. “While I hope that athletes & others will protest this unjust law by coming to Georgia, I respect the players’ decision. I’ll keep fighting as hard as I can for federal voting rights legislation.”

“It is not the people of Georgia or the workers of Georgia who crafted this law,” Warnock added in a separate statement, “it is politicians seeking to retain power at the expense of Georgians’ voices … It is my hope that businesses, athletes, and entertainers can protest this law not by leaving Georgia but by coming here and fighting voter suppression head-on, and hand-in-hand with the community.”

Republicans in Georgia have eyed unseating Warnock, who defeated Republican Kelly Loeffler in a special election earlier this year, as they seek to regain control of the Senate in next year’s midterm elections. Former University of Georgia running back Herschel Walker has been pushed by former President Donald Trump to challenge the incumbent, but has yet to make a formal decision about whether he will enter the race.

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