GRAPEVINE –– U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is set to address the annual National Right to Life Convention.
The Texas Republican is sure to get a warm welcome from the conservative crowd Friday in suburban Dallas.
Cruz was a little-known former Texas solicitor general before riding a tea party wave of support to an upset win in last year's Republican Senate primary against Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, a GOP establishment favorite.
Cruz has made national headlines since arriving in Washington, with some calling him the Senate's new troublemaker.
But he's seen his profile slip lately. Cruz was a vocal critic of the sweeping immigration legislation the Senate overwhelmingly approved Thursday.
He said in a statement: "Sadly, this bill won't fix the problem with our immigration system and will only encourage more illegal immigration."
Perry spoke at the convention on Thursday, addressing the last-minute filibuster that killed sweeping abortion legislation on the last day of the special session earlier this week. Led by Sen. Wendy Davis, D – Fort Worth, the senate's inability to pass the bill led the governor to schedule a second session to begin on Monday.
The governor weaved Davis directly into his speech, citing her upbringing as a reason why she should support the abortion regulation that she helped block. The Harvard Law School graduate who later became a state senator was the daughter of a single mother raising her first child at the age of 19.
"She didn't come from particularly good circumstances. What if her mom had said I just can't do this, I don't want to do this?," Perry said. "It's just unfortunate that she hasn't learned from her own example that every life must be given the chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters."
Davis later decried the governor's remarks, issuing a firey statement shortly after he left the stage at the Hyatt Regency D/FW International Airport hotel.
"Rick Perry's statement is without dignity and tarnishes the high office he holds," she said. "They are small words that reflect a dark and negative point of view. Our governor should reflect our Texas values. Sadly, Gov. Perry fails that test."
Cruz is set to speak at 10:45 a.m. WFAA.com will stream the U.S. senator's remarks.