Rivard told he's always welcome in GOP caucus

MADISON (AP) -- The Republican majority leader of the state Assembly says a fellow GOP lawmaker who lost re-election after recounting advice his father had given him that ``some girls rape easy'' is always welcome in the Republican caucus.

Rep. Roger Rivard of Rice Lake gave a tearful farewell to his Republican colleagues on Tuesday.

Rivard says the last few weeks since his comment was widely reported have been ``pretty rough,'' but he looks forward to traveling the country with his wife. He says, ``It can't get any worse than it is right now.''

Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder introduced Rivard by calling him a class act, dear friend and true citizen legislator. He says he was proud to serve with Rivard and welcomed him to visit any time.