GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on the Wisconsin Republican Party convention (all times local):
House Speaker Paul Ryan says he doesn’t have a timeline for unifying behind presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Ryan was asked at a news conference Saturday in Green Bay whether he hoped to have party unity before the national convention in July. Ryan says “this is a process, we still have some time to go.”
And, he says while Republicans are in the process of unifying “the Democrats are still ripping each other apart.”
Ryan met with Trump on Thursday in Washington. He says, “We will have policy disputes, no two ways about it.”
But he reiterated his point that “it’s important that we have real party unity, not pretend party unity.”
Ryan says that while there are questions about Republicans refusing to back Trump, he says “we’re really in the never-Hillary camp.”
Sen. Ron Johnson says he is not politicizing problems at the Veterans Affairs facility in Tomah, but he won’t call for a third party group to pull campaign ads blasting his opponent on the issue.
The ads attacking Democrat Russ Feingold are by super PAC Freedom Partners Action Fund. They criticize Feingold for not taking action when he was in the Senate to address overprescribing of prescription drugs at the VA.
Johnson told reporters Saturday following his speech at the state Republican Party convention that “I’ve done nothing to politicize this.” But when asked if he’d call for the ads to be taken down, Johnson said “those are independent groups.” And he says, “I actually believe in freedom of speech.”
Sen. Ron Johnson is comparing the upcoming election with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Johnson in his speech Saturday at the Wisconsin Republican Party convention told the story of Flight 93. Passengers on that flight took a vote before storming the cabin, forcing the plane to crash in a Pennsylvania field.
Johnson says of the upcoming election, “It may not be life and death, like the vote the passengers on United flight 93 took, but boy is it consequential.”
Johnson says “this nation is in peril” and he is “panicked” for the future.
Johnson faces a rematch of his 2010 election where he defeated Democrat Russ Feingold. The race is expected to be one of the most expensive and hotly contested in the country as Democrats try to take back majority control of the Senate.
U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner is the first Republican office holder at the state party convention to mention Donald Trump by name.
Sensenbrenner said Saturday that “Donald Trump has won our nomination fair and square.” His comments were met with a scattering of applause from the roughly 1,000 party faithful at the annual gathering.
Sensenbrenner is casting the support of Trump as a necessity in order to defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.
He says, “The time has come to look at what the stakes are. The next president of the United States will determine what direction our Supreme Court will take for the next generation.”
U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman is trying to get Republicans excited about the race, but he did not refer to Trump by name.
Grothman says, “Like the Scot Walker recall we’ve got to be that riled up.”
Gov. Scott Walker says Republicans need to “focus like a laser beam” on helping Sen. Ron Johnson win re-election, but he isn’t making the same call to action for Donald Trump.
Walker spoke for more than 30 minutes at the Wisconsin Republican Party convention Saturday and didn’t mention the presumptive presidential nominee Trump once. And Walker only made a passing reference to the presidential race when he joked about his own failed campaign.
Instead, like most of the speakers at the convention Walker is focusing on Johnson’s re-election campaign against Democrat Russ Feingold.
Walker says “That needs to be our clear focus. That’s where we can have the biggest impact, not just in the state of Wisconsin but the nation as a whole.”
He says Republicans need to “focus like a laser beam” on getting Johnson re-elected.
Walker has said he supports Trump because he pledged to back whoever the GOP nominee is.
Gov. Scott Walker is taking swipes at University of Wisconsin faculty who have recently been passing no-confidence resolutions targeting the Board of Regents and system president Ray Cross.
Walker said Saturday at the state party convention that faculty are upset because changes to the law affecting tenure took away what he calls “job for life” protections. The faculty argue that’s a mischaracterization of tenure and that the law changes make it too easy to fire someone without justification.
Walker is also saying he “gets a kick” out of Democrats who talk about student loan debt. Walker asks why they didn’t support his tuition freeze at UW which has been in place for four years.
He says Republicans “stand firmly on the side of students getting a better education, holding people accountable, keeping tuition affordable.”
Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch is talking about her fight with cancer while touting Republican Sen. Ron Johnson.
Kleefisch said at Saturday’s Republican Party convention in Green Bay that Johnson has been a fighter for legislation to help those fighting cancer get access to experimental treatments. She says Johnson’s advocacy for those with cancer shows his “huge conservative heart.”
Kleefisch was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2010 and has been cancer-free for more than five years.
Johnson is running for re-election against Democrat Russ Feingold. He was to speak at the convention later Saturday.
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel says he is running for re-election in 2018.
But he also is telling Republicans at the state party convention on Saturday that the federal court system is at stake with this year’s federal elections. While Schimel is calling for Republican Sen. Ron Johnson to be re-elected, he is not mentioning presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Schimel is calling on Republicans to ensure Johnson remains part of the federal judicial selection process. Schimel says “it’s almost certain” the next president could have three or four appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court. He says the next president “will likely have the power to stack the federal courts with nominees.”
He says Wisconsin’s voter ID law could be at stake as lawsuits challenging it work their way through the federal courts.
Wisconsin state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has been calling for Republicans to unite behind Donald Trump, but he isn’t bringing that message to the state party convention.
Fitzgerald did not mention Trump or the presidential race during his speech to about 1,000 Republican activists on Saturday at the convention in Green Bay. He had been one of the most outspoken state Republicans calling for unity behind Trump.
Instead, Fitzgerald is focusing his message on winning elections in the state Senate. He says, “This party should move towards the voters, instead of asking the voters to move towards us.”
He says Wisconsin Republicans can “unify under the pillars of conservativism, that’s what makes our party strong.”
Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says he will work for the “Republican nominee” for president, but is not saying Donald Trump’s name.
Vos spoke Saturday at the state Republican Party convention. He avoided saying Trump’s name, while he did refer to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. Ron Johnson, both of whom are running for re-election.
Vos has been reluctant to give a full-throated endorsement to Trump, saying like Ryan that he wants to see more details about Trump’s agenda but he hopes the party can unify.
Vos says that while the media has been “obsessed” with the presidential race, he doesn’t want Republicans to neglect races for the state Assembly and Senate. Republicans are working to maintain their majority control in the Legislature.
Gov. Scott Walker’s son is telling Wisconsin Republicans that conservative college students are ready to help get Sen. Ron Johnson re-elected.
Alex Walker spoke Saturday morning at the state Republican Party convention in Green Bay. He is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
He says not all college students are “liberal Bernie Sanders-loving socialists.” He says “many of them are Republicans and they don’t even know it.”
Alex Walker says the message for college students is that Democrat Russ Feingold “wants you to be dependent on the government when you graduate. Ron Johnson wants you to get a job when you graduate.”
Alex Walker says he’s working to rally young voters to help Johnson against Feingold.
Wisconsin Republicans are gathering for their annual state convention as they struggle with whether to get behind their party’s nominee for president.
The meeting in Green Bay is bringing together about 1,000 Republicans from across the state, just five weeks after Texas Sen. Ted Cruz beat Donald Trump in Wisconsin’s primary.
That turned out to be Cruz’s last victory. Now that he’s dropped out and Trump is the presumptive nominee, Wisconsin Republicans who opposed him are grappling with what to do.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, Sen. Ron Johnson and Gov. Scott Walker are among the state and federal elected officials who are slated to speak during the convention on Saturday.
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