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Thursday, January 8, 2015

 5:11 PM 

Walker: Wiley a 'senior adviser,' not campaign director

Gov. Scott Walker today acknowledged he has hired national GOP consultant Rick Wiley as a campaign adviser, but he declined to call Wiley his presidential campaign director. He also said there have been no additional campaign hires, though there may be more in coming weeks.

"Wiley's a senior adviser right now," said Walker, who's considered a likely candidate for president in 2016. As he moves closer to making a decision, Walker said he wanted someone with Wisconsin connections on his team.

"We wanted someone we could trust who has national experience and to help us figure out if people who are reaching out to us are legitimate, but that's only one part of the overall process.

"You have to put in the right people to advise you, you don't just go in half-way. It's not something you back into you. You should have your eyes fully wide open. If I were to run, I wouldn't run just for the sake of running, it would be because I thought I had something unique to offer the American people, that I could do good for this country and I'd run with the full intention of winning."

Speaking to reporters after a talk at the Wisconsin Bankers Association Economic Forecast luncheon in Madison, Walker said he would decide if he will set up a leadership PAC, as some other potential president candidates have done.

If he runs, Walker said he will be making many trips to Iowa and other early caucus and primary states. He said he'll speak there next month a conference with other GOP presidential hopefuls and "it will be one more opportunity to share our vision and to see if it matches the interest in a state like Iowa."

He also said he's praying over the decision, as he has done with every other major choice in his life. "I've tried to discern God's calling, and that is part of this process," said Walker, the son of a minister.

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