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. Phil, FL

    Ha Ha – Instructions on how to lie to get elected so that further lies can keep the little people down.

    Republicans are worse than Democrats – tho at this point, they are both a greedy bunch of self-centered politicians.

    Vote all the incumbents out. Get a new batch – if they are bad, vote them out next time.

    Vote the incumbents out !!!!!!!!!

    August 1, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  2. Michelle, PA

    Wow,. Just...WOW.

    Does this mean the RNCC thinks McCain is toxic?

    August 1, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  3. Deb, Allentown, PA

    Maybe instead of renting out the Xcel Center, the Republicans should have saved their money and rented a fire hall down the street.

    August 1, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. Sane John

    And people say the Democrats are in trouble.

    August 1, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  5. check and checkmate

    McCain picks Ridge or another moderate not Huckabee or Romney and forms a moderate bipartisan cabinet with a Democratic majority in Congress this would be the best perscription considering the times and conditions. Check and checkmate......:-)

    August 1, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  6. WOW

    Wow, Now just mover on over to the dems side, because your party
    messed up big time.

    August 1, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  7. Faux News

    Obama is bringing down the RNC criminals

    August 1, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. Phil, FL

    We have to send the message to our politicians that we are NOT going to reward their bad governing. Vote out the incumbents. That's a very strong message !!!!!!!

    August 1, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    While they are correct that repugs are the problem, one word come to mind for this kind of tactic:

    DESPERATION!

    August 1, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  10. Matt

    Why aren't you honest CNN?

    The dems are telling their people the exact same thing!

    Quit trying to somehow spin Congress dis-approval into a Republican thing.

    The democrats are in control of Congress, and they have the lowest approval ratings IN HISTORY!!

    August 1, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  11. Charlotte

    The same could be said about the DNC. This congress is the worst in history and it has a democratic majority, if you count Lieberman. A majority of them are worthless, give the boot to the ones who have betrayed the public trust. The good old boys club is still male chauvinists! Keep them, pregnant and bare foot, is very much alive. I am so dissapointed in the DNC, I may switch parties. I will not donate one dime to support this party. Kennedy and Kerry both went against their constituents and supported Obama. Not to mention Richardson and the rest of the boys who also choose to go against the will of the people. The women traitors are the worst. Nancy Pelosi wanted to remain the top female on Capitol Hill. I can't vote in her district or I would vote against her and I hope she gets voted out of office when her time for re-election comes. This election has caused much anger from the women of this country. I will write Hillary on my ballot in November, not because she is a woman but rather because she is the best candidate.

    August 1, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  12. UA

    i think there are a lot of people who'd also like candidates to stay away from the convention.

    unconventionalaction.org

    August 1, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  13. Patrick Henry, Fort Myers

    This is the most absurd advice I've seen in decades?
    I cannot believe that a show of party unity and confidence for the voters and the world–wouldn't be better than stumping in your home turf.

    Power isn't everything–the fear and lack of confidence really won't help you capture the millions of conservatives/moderates–who can't seem to grasp the value of an Obama Pesidency and are looking for some spark of confidence that McCain will be the best option.

    The Democrats control Congress and have done a dismal job sinking the approval rating to its lowest in history. What windfall opportunity to demonstrate to the American people–unity behind a revised party platform under McCain–without the neo-cons.

    August 1, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  14. BUSHED!!!!

    The Rnc is BUSHED!!!!

    August 1, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  15. David S.

    The Republican convention is in St. Paul, not Minneapolis. Either Tom Cole or CNN doesn't know the facts, or is unaware that Minneapolis and St. Paul are, in fact, separate cities!
    No thanks to Cole for this message, since the law of unintended consequences will apply, with the result that convention business income so many Twin Cities' business people are looking forward to will be lost......

    August 1, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  16. Sarah, 23, FL

    The Republicans were nothing but corrupt hypocrites pretending to be religious conservatives.....BUT the Democratics will rule this year....ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!

    DEMOCRATS FOR THE WHITE HOUSE!
    DEMOCRATS FOR CONGRESS!
    DEMOCRATS FOR THE SENATE!

    OBAMA '08-'16
    DEMOCRATS UNITE!!!

    August 1, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  17. Phil, FL

    Matt – your logic escapes me – there is a Republican Prez that vetoed everything the Dems tried to do for the last two years. He would only sign what leaned republican !!!!

    August 1, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  18. twin city resident

    The Republican National Convention is at the Xcel Energy Center, which is in DOWNTOWN ST PAUL, not MINNEAPOLIS. PLEASE get an atlas and get it RIGHT.

    August 1, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Is this real? If so, the GOP has totally self-destructed.

    The GOP needs to mend its ways. Dropping the Reagan banner would be the best start. Not attending their own convention is dumb. Wake up GOP.

    The GOP convention is THE BEST PLACE to launch a new political stance. Get rid of the "Contract for America" mind set. And that bunker mentality too while you are at it. Accept the fact that trickle-down economics really does not work the way it was supposed too when you allow jobs that were created by the tax cuts to be shipped overseas .

    August 1, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  20. FLORIDA FOR OBAMA

    The Republicans were nothing but corrupt hypocrites pretending to be religious conservatives.....BUT the Democratics will rule this year....ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!

    DEMOCRATS FOR THE WHITE HOUSE!
    DEMOCRATS FOR CONGRESS!
    DEMOCRATS FOR THE SENATE!

    OBAMA '08-'16
    DEMOCRATS UNITE!!!

    August 1, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  21. GOP TARGET

    Waste of time he said to go to the GOP convention?

    Yeah- sounds like they should attend the "real" GOP convention with the real conservatives at the Target Center.

    It will be more of a Grand 'Ol Party down the street with the good Dr. Ron Paul!

    Lincoln wasn't the presumptive nominee- but he was the nominee after the convention...

    Maybe the GOP will realize thier liberal War Hero isn't the best choice, maybe they will listen to the troops who donated more money to Ron Paul's campaign that to all other candidates combined!

    Restore the Republic, Restore Liberty and Prosperity-

    Nominate Ron Paul!

    August 1, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  22. Glenn

    It's interesting to see the GOPers, the ones who caused the economic and world security problems facing us today, to be telling their Congressmen and senators up for reelection to disavow the GOP. What a bunch of losers! The GOP causes the problems for the general public, but line their own pockets from lobbyists; and then run away from the public spotlight and disvow the guilty party...the GOP.

    August 1, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  23. Debby

    How idiotic they will probably all show up.

    August 1, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  24. Democrat

    If you want to get elected to anything stay far, far away from Bush. He is detested by a lot of people.

    August 1, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  25. hrsc

    WOW!!! Nice slap to the head if they will try censorship on there on, the rest of america is finished. Oh wait bush has been doing this for over 7 years now....My Bad.....

    August 1, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
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