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. Toni, MT

    Oh no, if they believe in their party so much they should be there, especially on the first day when George Bush gives his rousing speech. I can't wait to see this fiasco. Do forget the added effect of minorities sprinkled strategically behind the candidate, and in the front row.

    Obama 08

    August 1, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  2. Toni

    Oh no, if they believe in their party so much they should be there, especially on the first day when George Bush gives his rousing speech. I can't wait to see this fiasco. Don't forget the added effect of minorities sprinkled strategically behind the candidate, and in the front row.

    Obama 08

    August 1, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  3. WarHeroFmrPOW HijaxStr8talkXpress DrivzIn2GutR TurnzCoward XploitsTroopsAsProps UsesPatraeusAs PoliticalPawn

    So the Dems are supposed to undo and clean up every mess the Repugs have made in just two years? Thanks to Georgie's cowpoke leadership skills and Dick Cheney's complete absence, this is where we are folks.

    August 1, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  4. ss8ty

    Everyone is moving away from the DOUBLE TALK EXPRESS.

    The biggest FLIP FLOPPER ever to run for president. John FLIP FLOP McCain.

    Anyone but McBush.

    August 1, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  5. Bushwhacked in Eugene, OR

    Hmmm.... methinks they just don't want their congressional candidates connected with the current regime anymore than necessary.

    Here in Oregon, Gordon Smith is so desperately afraid of his seat that he's trying to convince Dems that he's 'one of them'. I don't think he's fooling any of us who have watched him in action over the years - and the funny part is that he's annoying his conservative constituency by aligning himself with non-conservative issues and siding with the 'other side' on bi-partisan bills. Funny.

    August 1, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  6. jerry rubin, Whitefish Bay, WI

    My question is how is Sen. Mitch McConnell going to avoid the party's convention? Or Sen. Ted Stevens, John Cornyn, Norm Coleman, Thad Cochran, John Thune, John Sununu, Jeff Sessions, Pat Roberts,. Joseph Lieberman, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Elizabeth Dole, Jim Demint, Saxby Chambliss. They all voted against the sustainable energy credits.

    Is Sen. John McCain the only one to show up? That will make him a celebrity along with Paris Hilton who donated $4,600 to his campaign.

    August 1, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  7. Brigette, FL

    Suggestion:

    Maybe you should leave 4,000 plus seats empty in memory of the 4,000 plus men and women who have died for George Bush's personal war.

    August 1, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  8. Kelby from Houston, TX

    LOL...OH MY GOD THIS IS SO FUNNY!!!!

    “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.’”

    That's right, everybody know how crappy your leadership is. Everybody is talking about how crappy your leadership is. Why not just join the chorus of BOOOs on the Repug party...maybe they won't notice that you are a repug.

    BTW I got a shout out to MATT !

    Pleaes don't think that you will see a shortage of Dems at the DNC...as a matter of fact prepare to be overwhelmed

    OBAMA '08 DEMOCRATS '08 AND FOREVER!!!

    August 1, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  9. Bubba

    My advice: pretend to be a Democrat and you might get re-elected. Hang around with these diseased wimps who dragged us into this idiotic war, and you can't even get arrested. Of course, not getting arrested is great if your name is Scooter or Novak or Rove.
    Anne E, I like the vision of Repubs as Scarlett: "As God knows I'm witless, I will never get elected again." Then they storm off, wearing the curtains and maybe a lampshade.....

    August 1, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  10. jaison Biagini

    WOW, i guess they think people won't see through this farce??
    mccain is weak, ever issue that he differed and chastized obama about has turned obama's way. making him look more like bush than ever. even bush has followed obama's stances. first with pakistan, then negotiating with iran, and now considering a timetable in iraq. mccain keeps calling obama inexperienced but i say what is more important?
    experience, or sound judgement??
    i'll take sound judgement.

    August 1, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  11. Terry in New York

    Sadly we forget whose been in charge of the Senate and House the past few years. Why not high light their disappointing records rather than target you're own. The American people seem to forget who's keeping us from at least trying to become oil self sufficient, who's policys are dragging down wall street. Sure G.W. is like the plague but let's not forget who approves and disapproves what's sent to him to sign.

    August 1, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  12. LOVE MY USA

    The Media is putting the Repub. Party in jeopardy.. Look at what the Deomcratic control is doing presently in the Congress and Senate. They ares spedning money behind close doors, even with out voting. This is a disgrce the way this country is doing business. Both Dem & Repub. shoud be booted out and let the Independent. canidates have a chance. BO donations are coming from over seas, not from the USA, why isn't he Media jumping on this? The media should go back to just reporting and not be bias,

    I was a Dem, now I am turning Independent. Hope the rest of the USA does the same thing to send a strong message to our so call learders.

    August 1, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  13. Deana, TX

    Don't forget to make your theme color red, for the unnecessary blood spilled for the unnecessary war.

    August 1, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  14. Miranda

    Next the GOP leaders will tell the incumbent senators to "imply" they support Obama in order to get elected...LOL...its bout the only way some of them will even be competitive.

    August 1, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  15. Sue, TN

    Hell, I'd stay away from this snoozefest too. Instead of watching there convention, I'll be watching paint dry.

    August 1, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  16. Neal

    Say whatever you have to.
    Lie as much as necessary, just win.
    We need as many as we can to keep getting rich.

    August 1, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  17. Angela Frazier, Memphis TN

    Just like rats to desert a sinking ship...

    August 1, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  18. Adriana Bham, AL

    Now that is funny.

    August 1, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  19. Mark Ferbet, Grain Valley, Missouri

    Congress, both parties are the biggest joke to our American Legislative Branch. I am for term limits.

    Congress... 3 years. Not two. Less campaigning more work. 2 term limits.

    Senate... 6 years, two term limit.

    President 6 years. ONE TERM LIMIT! The presidents don't do anything for the last two years of a two term Presidency anyway. Let's campaign less... let's work more.

    Yes, vote those incumbants out that aren't doing their jobs. It's time to take back our Government, and make sure those folks are working for us, and not special interests.

    August 1, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  20. Jim-Saint Paul Minnesota

    Please stay away. The convention will disrupt the lives of the people that live near the convention This doesn't include the homeless that go to the shelter across the street from the convention center.

    August 1, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  21. Bendo

    Just vote for Democrats straight ticket, send in some bucks, help people to the polls to vote, get the young kids in there to vote, all Dems unite and the independents will follow...dont let up until Nov 5!

    August 1, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  22. Virginia from PA

    This just illustrates that the Republican Leadership is way smarter than the Dem Leadership. They know how to get elected and aren't too proud to let their candidates know they can trash them to get elected. You definitely would never see this type out of clarity out of the Dems. It's no wonder the republicans would never have allowed a situation similar to Clinton and Obama happen.

    P.S. I'm a lifetime democrat tired of seeing republican tactics work. The Dems need to get smarter and stop beating themselves up before they even get to the title fight.

    August 1, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  23. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Or they could follow McCain's idea on campaign financing and rent a hall with the dems, to 'save expenses'.

    August 1, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  24. Leon

    Yeah, they should stay away. You are spending $10 billion / month of taxpayers money on a war when our economy and infracture in America is crumbling. Americans, please vote these guys out of office and send them a message. GO OBAMA...

    August 1, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  25. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    Funny how some GOP people love to point out that congress has a low approval rating.......conveniently forgetting that 49% of congress is GOP.

    That is 49% dead weight.

    And Bush's veto pen doesn't help either.

    Once Obama gets in office and we get more Dems in congress, things will really get moving.

    GOP is dragging everyone DOWN.

    August 1, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
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