Trump campaigns for Michels in Waukesha days ahead of primary election

WAUKESHA, Wis. — Days before Wisconsinites head to the polls in the state’s primary election, former President Donald Trump campaigned in Waukesha for Tim Michels, a fellow businessman and one of the Republicans hoping to become Wisconsin’s next governor.

Trump took to the podium just before 8:40 p.m. Friday after his flight was delayed by the weather, telling the crowd “three months from now the people of Wisconsin are going to going to fire your radical Democrat Governor Tony Evers.”

The former president touted his accomplishments in office while pointing out what he called the failings of his successor, President Joe Biden.

Trump wants that sentiment to translate to down-ballot races and help candidates he has endorsed.

Michels and some of the candidates Trump has endorsed in down-ballot races, including Adam Steen, who is running to unseat Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, spoke earlier in the day.

“There’s only one road to achieving free and fair elections in Wisconsin, and that run road runs through the 63rd Assembly District,” Steen said.

RELATED: Trump endorses Vos challenger in Assembly primary

During his remarks, Michels laid out priorities for the upcoming election, including crime and education.

“We are gathered together because today is the beginning of a different era where going to take back America,” Michels said. “We’re going to beat Tony Evers and get Wisconsin heading in the right direction and make it the greatest state that it can be.”

Michels said if elected, he would abolish the Wisconsin Elections Commission, the bipartisan arbiter of elections that has drawn the ire of some conservatives.

“If we don’t have fair and transparent elections, our entire constitutional system comes crumbling down,” Michels said. “This is the United States of America; it’s not some third-world country. It’s not some banana republic.”

The former president’s visit comes two days after former Vice President Mike Pence campaigned with Michels’ main opponent, former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, in Pewaukee.

While Trump has endorsed Michels, Pence has thrown his support behind Kleefisch, putting the two former running mates at odds.

RELATED: Pence endorses Kleefisch in Wisconsin governor race, setting up latest proxy battle with Trump

A Marquette University Law School poll in June put Michels and Kleefisch in a close race, with Rep. Tim Ramthun a distant third.

Ahead of the rally, state Democrats held a news conference in Waukesha, saying the recent endorsements in the race by national figures will be heard for the candidates to run away from in the fall.

“Both Trump and Pence were rejected by Wisconsin voters for their extreme divisive politics, and Wisconsin voters will reject their chosen candidate this fall,” Assembly Minority Leader Greta Neubauer (D-Racine) said.