Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker ended his campaign for president at a news conference Sept. 21, 2015 Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker ended his campaign for president at a news conference Sept. 21, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker ended his campaign for president at a news conference Sept. 21, 2015

By James B. Nelson October 2, 2015

In a tumultuous month for Gov. Scott Walker’s now-ended presidential campaign, statements and items by and about Walker again dominated our most-clicked list for September.

There were four Walker items in our September High Five, but topping the list was a year-old claim by President Barack Obama that he had cut the deficit in half.

We rated the claim -- from a Labor Day 2014 appearance in Milwaukee -- True.

The claim was backed up numbers from the White House and the Congressional Budget Office: The deficit was $1.4 trillion in 2009. By the end of fiscal year 2013, the deficit had fallen to $679.5 billion in dollars unadjusted for inflation.

Obama actually revisited the claim July 2, 2015 during a speech about the economy in La Crosse.

This time, he bragged the federal deficit in 2014 was two-thirds smaller than in 2009. We rated that claim Mostly True.

Among the caveats: His stimulus spending helped raise the 2009 deficit and the improvement is due in part by the overall improvement of the economy since the recession.

Here are the other most-clicked items from September:

No. 2: An In Context article about Walker’s comments that touched on building a wall along the Canadian border.

The comment came in a Aug. 29, 2015 "Meet the Press" interview, in response to a question about terrorism. Walker’s response included a mention that voters in New Hampshire had talked about northern security, and he termed their concerns "very legitimate."

That stirred headlines saying Walker was interested in building a wall along the border with Canada, and he was ridiculed as having uttered a crazy idea.

No. 3. A Sept. 2, 2015 claim by Walker that Obamacare doesn’t require members of Congress to abide by the law.

The claim came in a television interview when Walker said: "Day One, I’m going to sign an executive order that gets rid of the special carve out that President Obama gave to the Congress that doesn’t require them to abide by the same rules that all of the other Americans do in terms of Obamacare."

We rated the claim False. Members of Congress and their staffs use the exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act just like their constituents would.

No. 4. Walker’s claim that his actions as governor lead to an increase in health care coverage for people living in poverty.  

Walker said he "turned down a Medicaid expansion under Obamacare," but because of actions he took, for the first time in Wisconsin's history "everyone living in poverty is covered under Medicaid."

The statement came in an Aug. 18, 2015 speech in Minnesota where he laid out his plans to replace Obamacare. We rated the claim Mostly True. The numbers added up, but what went unmentioned by the governor was that he used another provision of Obamacare to do it.

No. 5. An article summarizing past PolitiFact items regarding Walker and labor unions.

It was published in the wake of a Sept. 14, 2015 speech in which Walker proposed abolishing labor unions for federal workers. In the end, his proposal drew scant attention, and after a lackluster performance in the second GOP debate, he dropped out of the race.

Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter

Our Sources

PolitiFact Wisconsin items, as noted.

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by James B. Nelson

Our September High Five: By this tally, Scott Walker fared better