Walker: Willing to Listen to AWOL Senators

Thursday, 24 Feb 2011 07:57 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he is willing to talk – even by phone – to the 14 Democratic senators, who refused to vote on legislation to reduce a massive budget shortfall and fled the state, and hear if they have creative solutions to end the weeks-long standoff surrounding the bill’s collective bargaining provisions.

walker, listen, awol, senators“I'm willing to listen,” Walker Wednesday told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. “If there are other creative ideas that can get around these things, and still ensure the kind of savings we need at both the state and the local level, there's no doubt I'm willing to listen. Believe me, people are giving us ideas all the time.

“I'll talk to employers in the state. I'll talk to people. The one call I'm wishing to get the most is from one of those 14 state senators [saying] they're willing to come back and do the job they were elected to do,” he said. “They weren't elected to hide out in another state. They were elected to do the job of serving the people, make their case.”

Van Susteren asked whether Walker would be willing to take a phone call from the senators – even if they were not yet ready to return to Wisconsin.

“Sure,” Walker answered. “If I got a phone call from the Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller, who's the head of the Democrats, I'd take that in a heartbeat.”

Van Susteren then asked Walker about one phone call he did take – a prank call the governor believed was from conservative businessman David Koch, and how it happened.

Walker answered that he gets numerous phone calls and the fake phone call just got through.

“I get employers both who live here, as well as those people who have employment here. This is one of our employers here in the state of Wisconsin,” Walker said. “Amongst the multitude of calls I get from people across the state, across the aisle, across the country – he got through. I think the clear thing is anybody who's looked at the transcript realized I said the same thing on the call to him that I say every day.

“I've never met the Koch brothers before. This is obviously why someone calling could prank,” Walker said. “And in the end – I mean, I think it's interesting because the prankster there tried to push for people to come in and cause a disturbance amongst the protesters. I made it very clear that's not right. That adds no value.”

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