Chelsea Handler Asks Sen. Raphael Warnock if He Wrote a Children's Book So Herschel Walker Could Read It

The exchange happened amid Handler's guest hosting stint on The Daily Show, while Warnock was promoting his new book Put Your Shoes On & Get Ready!

Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock recently wrote a book inspired by his father and intended for children — but in an interview this week, Chelsea Handler outwardly wondered if he had another target audience in mind.

On a new episode of The Daily Show, guest host Handler, 47, was catching up with the Democratic politician, 53, about his latest project when she specifically asked who the book Put Your Shoes On & Get Ready! was intended for.

"Did you write a children's book so that Herschel Walker would be able to read it?" she asked, sparking immediate laughter from the audience.

Chelsea Handler Raphael Warnock Dailyshow

Warnock, who kept his Georgia Senate seat after defeating Trump-backed opponent and former football star Walker late last year, tried to remain expressionless for a moment before chuckling while sharing his response.

"I have two small children," he said. "My daughter is six and my son is four. The title of the book is something my dad told me every morning. He had a fierce work ethic, you didn't sleep late in his house. And every day he said, 'Get up, put your shoes on and get ready.' It's something I've passed on to my children."

"For me, it represents preparation and also a sense of purpose," he continued. "And the recognition that all of us have a place, I believe, in the world. We've got gifts and things we're supposed to do. And I'm fighting every day to make sure that every kid has a place in America."

Before discussing his book, Handler also reminded the politician that he was part of a "very tight race" for the seat. His opponent's campaign had been met with controversy following Walker's string of lies about his education, his employment history and COVID cures that he claimed to have at the start of the pandemic — among other things. And after the runoff election, Warnock ended up victorious.

"It's great to be here, and I'm proud of what Georgia did," he told Handler.

Raphael Warnock, U.S. Democratic Senate candidate, smiles during a campaign event in Powder Springs, Georgia, U.S., on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020. Former President Barack Obama endorsed Warnock in Georgia's special U.S. Senate election last week, providing a boost as the candidate looks to consolidate support in order to win a spot in a potential runoff, reported the Associated Press.
Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

As for the book itself, Warnock opened up about being the 11th of 12 children growing up, and his thoughts on the state of Florida and its Board of Education's decision to ban critical race theory from public school classrooms in 2021.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis previously called critical race theory a move to "indoctrinate [students] with ideology," but Warnock said the decision to ban it was "quite unfortunate" and explained that America should "reject the idea that our children will be so traumatized by the truth of our complicated American story, that they can't bear it."

"Forgive the preacher for quoting scripture, but Jesus said you shall know the truth and the truth will set you free," said Warnock, who's served as the senior pastor of Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King Jr. preached until his assassination. "All stories are complicated. All families have complicated stories. And so does the American family. And all of us have to push back against this idea that education is the enemy."

Warnock continued, adding that he wrote the book because "Black history is the American story."

"I deal with the issue of race in this book, so I don't know if my book will be banned or not. But I'll tell you, as a dad, I was trying to figure out how to talk to my kids what I know they will encounter. And I think I deal with it in a way that honors the legacy of my dad, who as I talk about in the book, served in the army during the WWII era, all stateside," he said.

"And one day he was asked to give up his seat on a public bus while wearing his soldier's uniform. For some, the skin he was wearing was more important than the uniform he was wearing. So he had to give up his seat, that's a part of the American story," Warnock said. "But here's the other part of the American story: My dad had to give up his bus seat, now I have a seat in the United States Senate, a kid who grew up in public housing."

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Warnock previously caught up with PEOPLE about Put Your Shoes On & Get Ready!, and explained how he navigates telling his own kids about the world as a father of two.

"It's something I'm navigating right now as a dad, because, let's face it: as a parent, you want your children to enjoy the beauty and the magic and the innocence of childhood," Warnock said. "My daughter is six and my son is four. And I'm navigating right now, how do you explain certain things? But I think the care that you have as a parent is what comes through in the way I tell that story in the book."

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