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Trump Repeats False Claim About Wisconsin’s Budget Deficit To Attack Scott Walker

Trump says Walker oversaw a $2.2 billion budget deficit. Wisconsin, by law, is required to have a balanced budget.

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Donald Trump lashed out at Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in a radio interview on Tuesday, calling him a "little boy" and making a false claim about Wisconsin's budget.

Walker endorsed Trump's opponent, Ted Cruz, on Tuesday.

"I do fight back hard when somebody is dissenting, and I tend to win as you can see," Trump told WROK on Tuesday morning. "I won with your governor. Your governor came out, he was expected to win, and we sent him packing like a little boy."

"I didn't ask if he was endorsing me because I assume he won't be endorsing me, but I'm the one that revealed his weaknesses," Trump continued. "And I'm one — when he got out he said, 'we must stop him, we must stop him.' Well, that was strong dissent. At the same time, it was also victory."

Trump later in the interview attacked Walker over what he called Wisconsin's "real budget deficit." His claim, that Walker oversaw a $2.2 billion deficit, is not true, and has been labeled as such by fact checkers several times when Trump has made it in the past. Wisconsin by law is required to have a balanced budget. While there was at one time, according to some groups, a projected $2.2 billion budget shortfall in Wisconsin, Walker signed into law last summer a balanced budget for the next two years.

"When you look at your budget deficit, the real budget deficit, the one that he could not explain during the debates," he said. "When I used to say you have a $2.2 billion deficit, he'd say, 'oh well that's a Democrat soundbite.' But he wouldn't explain why he didn't have it, ok? He never explained it. And he was favored to win and by the time I got finished with him he was dropping out of the race, he was one of the first ones to drop out of the race."

"He was my opponent and I hit very hard, but I took care of him, Trump said. "Literally in one week he was out of the race."

Trump, repeating the false claim about the deficit, then attacked Walker for refusing to raise taxes and instead making cuts in spending.

"You had a $2.2 billion budget deficit and the schools were going begging and everything was going begging because he didn't want to raise taxes, cause he was going to run for president," said Trump. "So instead of raising taxes, he cut back on schools, he cut back on highways, he cut back on a lot of things. And that's why Wisconsin has a problem and you're losing jobs all over the place. And you're not getting your product out like you're supposed to get it out."

Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Andrew Kaczynski at andrew.kaczynski@buzzfeed.com.

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