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The Latest: Johnson says Biden is biggest GOP threat

May 18, 2019

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on Wisconsin Republican Party convention (all times local):

12:28 p.m.

Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson says Joe Biden poses the greatest threat to President Donald Trump in Wisconsin.

Johnson gave his assessment of the large Democratic presidential field at a news conference Saturday during the Wisconsin Republican Party convention. He calls Biden a “nice” and “likable guy” and compares him to a company’s sales manager.

Johnson says Biden is positioned to do well in Wisconsin in part because of his name recognition, but he thinks he is wrong on the issues.

Johnson helped lead a review of the Wisconsin Republican Party to determine what went wrong in the 2018 election that saw every statewide candidate lose and to prepare for the presidential race.


10:35 a.m.

Republican legislative leaders are accusing Democratic Gov. Tony Evers of proposing a “wacky” and “crazy” state budget, and say he isn’t communicating with them.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald made the comments Saturday during a panel discussion at the state Republican Party convention.

Vos says Evers catered to liberals by proposing a budget that Republicans who control the Legislature would never approve. Republicans have already killed many of his proposals, including Medicaid expansion.

Fitzgerald says Republicans have no relationship with Evers and “there’s a real disconnect on all different levels with this governor.” Fitzgerald says Republicans could negotiate with former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, but there’s no point person for talks with Evers.

Fitzgerald says he and Vos have met twice with Evers for five minutes since January.


10:23 a.m.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice-elect Brian Hagedorn says Republicans who backed his successful run this year “saved the Supreme Court.”

Hagedorn addressed Republicans on Saturday at their annual state convention in Oshkosh. Hagedorn has deep ties to the Republican Party and had support from many in the GOP during his race against fellow state Appeals Court Judge Lisa Neubauer this year.

Hagedorn will take his seat on the Supreme Court in August.

Hagedorn tells Republicans that his win shows that conservative Justice Dan Kelly can win his race next year. Liberals are optimistic they can win because the election is the same day as the Democratic presidential primary when turnout will be high.

Hagedorn tells Republicans “you can do hard things, we can win this race.”

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