August 1st, 2008
08:55 AM ET
6 years ago

GOP leader to Republican candidates: avoid the convention

A GOP congressional leader urged candidates to avoid the party's summer convention.
A GOP congressional leader urged candidates to avoid the party's summer convention.

(CNN) - The man spearheading campaign efforts for congressional Republicans has some advice for embattled legislators locked in tough races: stay away from the GOP convention.

In a Thursday conference call with lawmakers and campaign strategists, National Republican Congressional Committee Chair Tom Cole argued candidates should steer clear of the party’s summer convention in Minneapolis, calling it a “waste of time” in a tough year when every day on the campaign trail counts.

According to a report in The Hill, the Oklahoma congressman urged Republican lawmakers to feel free to criticize the party – including prospective future colleagues, citing dismal congressional approval ratings. “These ratings are worse than we had on the eve of losing the majority,” he said. “Don’t be afraid to say you are disappointed in fellow Republicans… don’t hesitate to be anti-Washington, D.C.’”

Several GOP senators have already announced their plans to skip the Republican National Convention, including Maine Senator Susan Collins and North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole, who had a prime-team speaking role at the last RNC.


Filed under: RNC
soundoff (194 Responses)
  1. PUMA

    had a prime-team speaking role – s/b "prime time"

    home page reads "attacks has racial overtones" – s/b "attacks have racial overtones"

    Are your editors and proofreaders on vacation or just ignorant?

    August 1, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. Dan, Mpls, MN

    These idiots sided with Bush with almost all of the policies the administration put forward and now they are saying they are not responsible?

    August 1, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  3. Texans for Obama

    No more of the same!. McCain is only going to continue the same Bush policies. Who in their right mind would vote Republican? All you have to do is look at the state of the economy. We can last another 100 yrs in Iraq. We don't have any money to keep funding a war that was waged on a big fat lie! People are trying to say McCain is different from Bush. No, he is not!. This man is has old school ideas and wants to continue the policies to continue dooming this country

    People are losing their jobs each day. McCain is wearing $500.00 shoes while people can't afford gas to go to work or pay their utilitiy bills. McCain is part of the old system. NO TO THE REPUBLICANS! I am sick of them and all of the crooks in the Bush administration!

    So stop hating on Obama because he is a smart, intelligent ,black man that has confidence in himself. You can look in McCains face and see he has ZERO CONFIDENCE!

    August 1, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  4. norml

    hahahahahahahahahaha!

    August 1, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  5. Peejay

    “Don’t be afraid to say you are disappointed in fellow Republicans… don’t hesitate to be anti-Washington, D.C.’”

    I love it – they've sunk to the level of swift-boating their own.

    August 1, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  6. diane

    This is hillarious to me!

    If you are a Republican candidate and it would be disadvantagous to attend your own party's convention this summer because your own President is so unpopular, it begs the quesion on whether your politics are in step with the country and why you are still in the GOP.

    August 1, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  7. judy, Wisconsin

    Wouldn't it be great if Bush gives his speech to empty seats-priceless, I'll have to watch.

    August 1, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  8. Ken

    Hey Matt, come out of your own personal political fog. This Congress is riding on the coat-tails of the [R]-owned and run Congress of the previous 6 years. People expected too much, too quick, from a [D] majority that was too thin - that is why the poll numbers are low. I have one quote for you from one of your heroes that says it all:

    "The strategy of being obstructionist can work or fail....and so far it's working for us. Democrats are the ones taking the blame for not getting anything done." – Trent Lott

    Let's see what the polls look like after we vote out more of the neo-trash this Nov. And as far as poll numbers go, let's not forget how well the country was doing in the 1990's because of a successful [D] president, and despite that success there was a hard core of [R] imbeciles that complained and complained -- these are the same imbeciles that today give Bush a 29% approval rating. Sorry bud, but I think you are one of them!

    August 1, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. Proud army and navy mom

    I told everybody before: The Republicans eat their own.

    They pretend to care about life of the unborn, and then sends them to get killed on lies for oil. Truth is they are just using to pro-life
    (duh, everyone is pro-life except murderers} to garner votes.

    When will people see that the Repugs are destroying our great nation!

    August 1, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  10. Kevin

    Who's going to give all the hate-filled speeches?

    August 1, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  11. G

    Does it matter? Are people really that dumb that they can't see that this party is going nowhere and has no new ideas. There answer to the oil addiction is to drill for more oil. They want more leases for offshore drilling yet they already have what about 6000 leases that are environmentally safe but they won't drill there. What a political play if I ever seen one. Pretending to give a solution. Even if you drill the oil first won't come in about 10yrs and second it will run out quickly so you are back to square one. And finally the oil found in America does not belong to Americans it belongs to the oil company that drill it since oil is not nationalize. Meaning that they can choose to export that oil to China or India which will most likely happen.

    August 1, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  12. jdc

    "Not a dime's worth of difference between the two parties," said George wallace decades ago. Still true!

    August 1, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  13. Phil in KC

    Skip the convention and then, [gasp], violate Ronnie's 11th commandment (thou shalt not speak ill of another party member). Thinks must be getting pretty desperate in the Republican party these days.

    August 1, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  14. The Oracle

    Haha!!!!! I love it....I wonder, has this ever happened before?? Might it mean that McLame's dayz are numbered?? Or that George Bush is the worst Pres we've ever had?? Perhaps all of the above???

    August 1, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  15. rhoward

    Gee, it's pretty bad if your own party chairman tells you to avoid being seen at its convention and to feel free to criticize the party. What does that say about current state of the Republican party for it to be giving that kind of advice to its candidates?

    August 1, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  16. GIL TEXAS

    IS THAT NOT VERY INTERESTING? REPUBLICANS ARE RUNNING AWAY FROM THEIR PARTY AND THEY ARE TELLING US TO VOTE FOR THAT PARTY?THE TRUTH IS THAT ANYONE VOTING REPUBLICAN OR MCCAIN IN THIS ELECTION WILL HAVE HIM/HER SELF TO BLAME FOR THE PERILS OF THE NEXT FOUR YEARS OR SO FOR THEY WILL BE THERE IF MCCAIN GETS INTO THAT OFFICE.

    HOW CAN ANYONE VOTE FOR SOMEONE WHO HAS NOTHING TO OFFER BUT JUST TO CRITICIZE AND FIND FAULTS.

    MCCAIN,AMERICANS DONOT NEED A WAR LEADER,THE REST OF THE WORLD ARE LOOKING FOR PEACE AND NOT WAR. WE WANT SOME ONE WHO CAN TAKE THIS NATION OUT OF THE PIT YOU AND YOUR PARTY HAVE THROWN US ALL INTO.

    WE WANT SOMEONE WHO WILL BE ABLE TO NEGOTIATE PEACE.
    IF OBAMA HAS BECOME A WORLD CELEBRITY......GREAT....WE ADMIRE THEM, WE FOLLOW THEM, WE IMITATE THEM, WE LOVE THEM, WE DO NOT GO TO WARS WITH THEM.THANK GOD AMERICA CAN NOW PRESENT A CELEBRITY TO THE WORLD AND NOT A NAPOLEON .

    August 1, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  17. chas alabama

    WOW

    August 1, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  18. James Irisen

    Good advice. If the party big-wigs don't believe in the party, why should America? This is another sign that even the Republicans know that they have failed the nation and that it is high time we had a Democrat in the white house. They have failed America in every rerspect: they turned surplus into deficit, depleted our economy, sent our boys and girls to go and die in a war that they would not send their own children to, they were no where to be found when the Katrina disaster happened. Away with Senator McCain and his party. Vote Obama

    August 1, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. LLMTruth

    This statement from the GOP head simply proves that Republicans will say and do anything to get elected; even if it means throwing each other under the bus. It is further prove how despicable that party has become.

    Shameful, absolutely shameful, yet tupical and not surprizing........

    August 1, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
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