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Ted Cruz, the firebrand senator from Texas and a GOP heavyweight, came to Milwaukee on Saturday predicting a conservative wave in the upcoming elections as his colleague Ron Johnson faces a tough reelection battle.
Cruz, who won Wisconsin's Republican primary for president in 2016, returned to a warm welcome at a summit at the Wisconsin Center. He and other top Republicans celebrated the end of Roe v. Wade and promised to usher in a "conservative renewal."
Johnson has been dogged by revelations of an elector fraud scheme on Jan. 6 and is behind in recent polling numbers against several Democratic challengers. Democrats also gathered on Saturday at their state party convention in La Crosse, promising to use the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade to punish Republicans at the ballot in November.
But Cruz and other summit speakers, including gubernatorial candidates Tim Michels, Rebecca Kleefisch and Kevin Nicholson, spoke of an impending "red tsunami".
"Yesterday was a vindication of the work of patriots," Cruz said of the Supreme Court's Friday decision to strike down the constitutional right to abortion. "Revival is coming. Something amazing is happening across the country. People's eyes are opening up."
Other speakers, including the gubernatorial candidates, echoed Cruz's predictions of a conservative wave in the upcoming November midterm elections.
Cruz compared ongoing inflation and foreign policy issues to that of President Jimmy Carter's administration.
"It took Jimmy Carter to give us Ronald Reagan," he said, referencing the Republican's landslide victory in 1980. "I believe Biden's most long-lasting legacy is going to be inspiring a new generation of conservative leaders who stand up and bring this country back."
The summit, titled Together4Truth and sponsored by the Truth and Courage PAC, centered on digital activism and local campaign tactics.
Cruz's trip to Milwaukee comes as the city is in the running to host the 2024 Republican National Convention. Milwaukee and Nashville are the two cities that remain in the running.
Cruz has said he would "in a heartbeat" run for the nomination again in 2024.
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Ted Cruz visits Milwaukee amid tough Ron Johnson re-election battle