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

GOP leader to Republican candidates: avoid the convention

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Jamaal Kansas

    ha ha ha now that you told them they should do that democrats will just use it against them Republicans are stupid they know that there dog food is being taken off the shelves Obama 08 Republicans= DOG FOOD

    August 1, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |

    Sounds like McCain's convention can be held in a Legion Hall !!!!!!

    August 1, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  3. ProudToBeDemocrat

    What this guy saying is stay away from the failed republican party. The way to do it is lie you are not one of those in washington. Do they real think the American people are that stupid, but then some are.

    August 1, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  4. Crush Rush

    They are telling the rats to hide,before the exterminator comes to town.We wont miss any though,theres a Big R tattoo on them.

    August 1, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  5. Saad from NJ

    Holy Jesus Christ.... Holy Moly... Overtime, republicans have done some great things for our country just like teh democrats have but lately.... nayyyyy.... so it's great to have a Republican who is in touch with reality.... it would have been perfect had he said.. don't be afraid to call yourself 'stupid' and say that we screwed up.... LOL.

    August 1, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  6. VB Lincoln Park NJ

    I only have one question. What are you afraid of?

    August 1, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. THE TRUTH IS!!!!!!

    TO Michelle, PA August 1st, 2008 10:40 am ET
    Wow,. Just…WOW. Does this mean the RNCC thinks McCain is toxic

    Think? They know Mccain is Toxic!!!

    August 1, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  8. Christopher, Madison, WI

    Hey Matt and PUMA Charlotte your both full of it! The repukes have filibustered every attempt to change direction. I would say though that Pelosi and Reid, the idiots, need to pack their bags! Vote for Cindy Sheehan to take back San Fran from Nancy!
    BTW there are still repukes in Congress...remember? And for that matter their 6 years of Bush lockstep is what got this country to this point. Which is better, tax the rich and spend, or borrow money from Communistic China? McCain is a racist who hates women's rights, look at his plan. Create more jobs for women that do not pay equal to that of men. He did vote against that bill...remember?

    August 1, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  9. newz4i

    GOP to Republican candidates: "Stay away from McCain."

    Voters, "Don't vote for GOP candidates."


    Simple, clear, concise.

    August 1, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  10. Mike from Westchester

    After two Bush terms leading to the worst overall situation for our country in nearly 70 years, perhaps they should just pretend they aren't Republicans at all.

    To Charlotte who said "The women traitors are the worst" and then tried to pretend that she "will write Hillary on my ballot in November, not because she is a woman". Give it up, the traitor comment shows where you are coming from – end of story.

    I, too, was called a "traitor" to my face while campaigning in downtown Philadelphia – I guess because I was a white man supporting Obama. It seems there are a lot of people out there who believe it's your sworn duty to support a women if you're a woman and a white candidate, if you're white. Please tell me, when will the ignorance end?

    Obama is clearly the best leader of the bunch, no matter the color or gender – and that is why I support him for President.

    August 1, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  11. Crush Rush

    MATT, IT takes 60 votes in the Senate and no Vetos in Congress,thats control, and YOU know it,stop trying to spin it moron..

    August 1, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  12. steve Pagnozzi

    In my 59 years with all the scandals of both parties, I don't think I've ever seen a more one sided disaster than the republicans have had the last 4 years. Why in the good Lord's name they could nominate a boob like Bush is beyond my primitive thinking. This is a great time for 'Democrats to coalesce around their party and put some new blood into our country. We have nothing to lose because we are going down in a nosedive because of this incompetent we have there now. If it doesn't work out, then its time for a new party to enter. We have to think of the country first! GO Obama!

    August 1, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  13. Frank Canada

    The fact is Republican means conservatism and conservatism means more of the same no matter how you spin the talk.

    Another fact is modern societies world wide have rejected conservatism and gone to more compasionate type of government that is by the people for the people.

    You can dye a skunks fur but you can't change or get rid of the smell.

    August 1, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  14. Phil, FL

    Want to see what each state is inclined to do ? It sometimes changes on a daily basis, but usually once a week.

    August 1, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  15. bill for barack

    Sure says a lot for McBush that members of his own party are warned that the man is TOXIC and must be avoided like POISON.
    We all knew he was venomous, but when you have to tell members of his own party..........

    August 1, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  16. John McShame, Obama Is Going to Tax You & Cindy, but Not Me & 95% Americans Making < $250,000/Yr

    This just shows that the republican party is a gimmick: say anything & do anything to WIN an election!

    they've run america aground with record breaking deficit of over $450 billion dollars and they want to get re-elected by hook & crook and their smear low road campaign that John McSame is now proudly using!


    August 1, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  17. Anne E.

    What's the matter, GOP? Don't believe in your own party? Can't support those running for re-election? Are McCain and your
    Nitwit-In-Chief too much of a black eye for you?
    Even Scarlett O'Hara faced her critics, chin up, shoulders back, and in a red dress. You all talk a good game, but when it's time to face the music........we'll see now who "cuts and runs"!
    Break out the popcorn, this is gonna be a good show......

    August 1, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  18. California Gold

    If you want to be elected or re-elected as a Republican, avoid being seen in public with other Republicans. That's as good as it gets.

    August 1, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  19. v.a.

    don't stay away from the convention, dummies. this may be your last hoorah for the next 8-16 years.

    August 1, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  20. Lola

    This is a free country, it’s okay for the GOP to voice their options on their party and candidate. In contrast to the GOP, DNC is controlled by under George Soros. They will attack and beat you to dead if you have anything negative at all to say about Obama. See what they did to Hillary and judge it yourself forks!

    August 1, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  21. Obama 08 - rocking it baby

    America is in a crisis.... I am not impressed with the Republicans or the Democrats (congress). However, I am willing to give congress a little break because they have not had too much time with the Democrats ruling... The Republicans ran the white house and the congress for seven plus years almost... their policies obviously suck because look at the state of America under their rule. Now the republicans running for office want to shy away from their party.... that speak volumes... Obama 08!

    August 1, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  22. b Jiggy

    Even some republicans dont want to have anything to do with McCain, what does that say for those bitter Clinton supporters 🙂

    Go Dems'

    August 1, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  23. Phyllis, MT

    LOL, yeah–I'd stay away too. The country will be excited about Obama anyway. So stay away, go to the convention...we don't care.

    We're a little giddy right now with the thought of getting rid of George Bush forever.

    Obama 08

    August 1, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  24. Sane John

    "Why aren't you honest CNN?

    The dems are telling their people the exact same thing!"

    Um... no they aren't. The DNC is not telling Democrats to stay away from the convention.

    August 1, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  25. Nina

    I am a democrat and I plant o vote all incumbents that are up for re-election . They are liars. They are as bad as the republican criminals, because they vote in secret, meeting in the dark of night.

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