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Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher September 28, 2018

He stayed, but only after trying to leave

Less than a month before election day in 2014, Walker stated during a debate with Democratic challenger Mary Burke: "My plan is if the people of the state of Wisconsin elect me on Nov. 4 is to be here for four years…It's a position I'm committed to."

But in July 2015, eight months after defeating Burke, Walker's pledge was called into question when he announced his run for the 2016 GOP nomination for president. At that point, we rated Walker's pledge Stalled.

Two months later, however, Walker withdrew from the presidential race (and we revised our rating to In the Works).

After Donald Trump won the election, Walker insisted he would not consider taking a position in Trump's Cabinet.

And indeed he has not only remained in office, he opted to seek a third term.

At the same time, implicit in Walker's promise was that he wouldn't try to leave. He ended up staying, but he did try to leave.

So, on his pledge to serve a full second term, we give Walker a Compromise.

Our Sources

Interview, Gov. Scott Walker spokesman Tom Evenson, Sept. 27, 2018

By James B. Nelson September 25, 2015

Out of presidential race, and back home

After Scott Walker suspended his presidential campaign on Sept. 21, 2015, he said he had no interest in a potential cabinet position and said he'd serve the remaining three years of his term.
So, it's clear we will be seeing a lot of him in Wisconsin in the years ahead.
What, then, of Walker's pledge from the 2014 gubernatorial campaign?
The one that came when he attempted to quell concerns that he was using the governor's office as a stepping stone and would run for the presidency.
Here is what Walker said Oct. 10, 2014 in a debate with Democratic challenger Mary Burke: "My plan is if the people of the state of Wisconsin elect me on Nov. 4 is to be here for 4 years…It's a position I'm committed to." 
That statement landed on our Walk-O-Meter, which we use to track campaign promises. 
When the governor became a candidate for president in July 2015, we put the promise at Stalled. Afterall, if he won, he certainly would not be finishing his term. And the fact he was running at all raised questions about his commitment to finish that term.
Now, we are moving it to In the Works.
"I'm going to be governor for a little more than three years; I haven't made a decision whether to run for a third term," Walker told donors on a Sept. 23, 2015 conference call. "No matter what, I'm the governor. I don't plan on going anywhere.

Our Sources

Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher July 17, 2015

Presidential announcement shows Walker is not so 'committed' to this one anymore

As Gov. Scott Walker ran for re-election in 2014, there already was great speculation that he was aiming for a 2016 presidential bid. In response to a question during a debate with Democrat Mary Burke, the governor tried to put the issue to rest.

In doing so, he made this pledge:

"My plan is, if the people of the state of Wisconsin (re-elect) me on Nov. 4, is to be here for four years ….It's a position I'm committed to."

In making his formal entry into the presidential field in July 2015, Walker made this much clear: He's not fully committed to finishing his term.

Clearly, if he becomes president, he won't finish his term.

It remains to be seen, of course, whether Walker will win, or pursue another opportunity if he doesn't. But for the moment, he is open to options other than finishing his term.

Some have argued this promise should be listed as broken. But, words matter. And he did not promise not to run for president -- only to serve a full term.

We'll re-evaluate this promise down the road. On our Walk-O-Meter scale, the best fit for a promise trending toward broken is Stalled. That's what we rate this one.

Our Sources

Email interview, Gov. Scott Walker press secretary Laurel Patrick, July 16, 2015

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