tweeted on Friday night, “I sometimes pull out my Star Fleet badge to get past security at Star Trek conferences.”

Erick Erickson, a conservative commentator, defended Mr. Walker.

“He was made an honorary deputy sheriff in Cobb County, Georgia, and spent 15 years helping that department and discussing with deputies how to handle mental health situations,” Mr. Erickson said on Friday night on Twitter. “But I know facts don’t matter on Twitter.”

The image of Mr. Walker waving his badge during the debate called to mind another celebrity with a penchant for badges: Elvis Presley. During a meeting in 1970 with President Richard M. Nixon, the King famously asked for a federal narcotics agency badge. Mr. Presley’s widow, Priscilla Presley, discussed the badge’s allure in her memoir, “Elvis and Me.”

“The narc badge represented some kind of ultimate power to him,” Ms. Presley wrote.

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