Republicans eye 2016 at annual convention

More than 1,000 people attended the convention

The annual Wisconsin Republican Convention took place in La Crosse this year at the La Crosse Center.

It’s the first time the convention has been in La Crosse since 2009.

There were about 1,000 Republicans from all over the Badger state listening to state Republican leaders like Gov. Scott Walker, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson.

The message from all speakers was a thank you to supporters.

“For a state that more than four years ago was all blue, that was all controlled by Democrats, you helped us for the third time in a row in the state Assembly and state Senate,” Walker said.

But after the thanks, the conversation shifted and Wisconsin Republicans, at all levels of government began talking about the 2016 election.

“And now we’re asking for your help again,” Walker said.

“With Hillary Clinton possibly being at the top of the ticket for the Democrats, Republicans in Wisconsin will once again have to fight against an onslaught of money, mud slinging, liberal special interests and their big money,” said state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald.

“We have a plate full of accomplishments, I have to tell you that if we want to win in 2016, and not just in Wisconsin, but in America, we have to come together for the future of our country and the future of our state,” said state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan said while running with Mit Romney in 2012 he learned a few things that he hopes Republicans can use to win back the White House.

“We need to expand our appeal, not by watering down our principles, but by applying our principles to the problems of the day and showing the American people, everyone, from every nook and cranny of this country that we have better ideas that will help deliver the American idea of opportunity, of freedom, of liberty for everyone in this country,” Ryan said.

And even though he still hasn’t announced if he’ll run for president or not, Walker seemed to be talking to more than just Wisconsin Republicans at times.

“Once and for all we send a Republican to the White House, where together as a team we can make America great again. Let’s keep moving Wisconsin forward, let’s make America great again,” Walker said.

Walker also mentioned the fact that Wisconsin hasn’t been a red state in a presidential race since 1984,  something he hopes to change next year.

There was also a member of the Republican National Committee who said the group plans on spending millions of dollars on attack ads against Clinton.

After the convention, Walker flew out to Des Moines, Iowa, to speak at another Republican rally about foreign policy for potential presidential candidates.