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Story highlights

The Texas senator tailored his speech to the California Republican Convention here

Cruz was received warmly if not quite enthusiastically

(CNN) —  

Ted Cruz laid into Donald Trump in an address to California Republicans on Saturday, claiming that the Republican front-runner was responsible for top California Democrats such as Gov. Jerry Brown.

The Texas senator tailored his speech to the California Republican Convention here, railing against environmental regulations he said were responsible for wasting more than 1 trillion gallons of freshwater amid the state’s continuing water crisis. Then, pivoting from environmental regulations, he harped on $12,000 in donations Trump gave to the state’s top Democrats almost a decade ago, including Brown, Attorney General Kamala Harris and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“Y’all are experiencing firsthand the consequences of those misguided liberal policies,” Cruz said.

Cruz was received warmly if not quite enthusiastically, winning modest applause as he hit on some California themes, including his selection of Carly Fiorina as running mate.

Trump could end Cruz’s hopes for a contested convention on Tuesday with a big win in Indiana. California is among the last states to hold a primary, with its 172 delegates on the line on June 7.

Before he addressed the audience, Cruz picked up the endorsement of former California Gov. Pete Wilson, a staunch opponent of illegal immigration, and Cruz’s supporters were out in force at the convention ahead of his speech. Cruz himself rallied volunteers and top donors in private meetings earlier in the day.

Wilson warned of “down-ticket decimation” in other Republican races if Trump wins the nomination.

“We can’t afford a nominee in 2016 who’s losing women voters at a far greater rate than Hillary Clinton is losing men and millennials,” Wilson told the convention.