August 1st, 2008
08:55 AM ET
12 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. Alice in Florida

    Latest Gallup Poll (and Gallup does call cell phones!):

    Obama = 45%
    McCain = 44%

    Read it and weep, Obamabots!

    August 1, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  2. Rave

    GOP... Greedy Old Politics
    OBAMA (2008 -16)

    August 1, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  3. No Republicans

    Obama is the best alternative to this whole mess with the republicans..

    August 1, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  4. We're NOT "your friends"!!!

    O come on now repubs, stand tall and take it like a man. You guys got us in this mess in the first place, and now all you want to do is tuck tail and run, bunch of pansies! I think it's actually pretty sad that the repubs have sunk so low that they have to issue statements like this......happy trails!

    OBAMA 2008 +2012

    August 1, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  5. Venus


    This is funny!

    At the Demo-Convention Obama may have over 80,000 people plus leaders and the Republicans are asked not to show up for theirs(:

    Go Obama!

    Almost 500,000 jobs have been lost this year...
    Obama may get some of those "white voters" who say they won't vote for a black man!

    August 1, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  6. ber6964

    Don't forget John McCain doesnt speak for Jonh McCain!!

    August 1, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  7. MikeH

    Some good people in the Republican party, but most are corrupt losers and cowards.

    Hey why didn't Alex Mooney write this one, he could have written his usual pro-Republican distortions and somehow blame Obama and the Democrats.

    August 1, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  8. PW Va

    Ahhh...the "sinking ship" syndrome sets in. but answer one does one run away from one's self???

    August 1, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  9. norml

    all of america will be avoiding the rep nat conv.

    August 1, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  10. Franky in washington

    I dont dont blame thenm they dont wanna be over shadowed and embarrsed not only to be linked to Bush and Cheney but to have to follow up 4 days after the DNC and the raw emotion that will pour out of that and then people will see the dry dull RNC and they dont wanna be linked to that you forgot to mention the senator out here running for re-election Gordon Smith hes not gonna be there either. Nor his the man whos runnuing for Governor in my home state whos flat refusing to even use the Republican name instead going with the GOP candiate.

    August 1, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. Rick FL

    As a former Republican, I can certainly understand the RNC sentiment. The party unfortunately turned out to be just the opposite of what I had always been taught; however, I learned an important lesson to pay attention. It made my support of Obama that much clearer in this election.

    August 1, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. Credit Card Republicans

    We dont TAX, we just borrow and let the next guy pay the tab.

    August 1, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  13. Brian, CA

    Yeah, cancel it and stay home. We don't want to hear more George Bush rhetoric anyway.

    Obama 08

    August 1, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  14. Lisa, SD

    OMG, I'm dying to hear one more speech from that great American president, George W. Bush–NOT.

    August 1, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  15. PG

    Republicans here is a better idea: leave this country and take Bush and his cronies with you and by the way drag McSame along the way.

    August 1, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |

    Them staying away is not going to help anything. The damage has been done for some time now and many of the American people are waking up to a dose of reality that GOP ran administrations are not in the best interest of the little guy. Sooooooooooooooooooo WHY ARE SO MANY STILL VOTING FOR MCLame??

    August 1, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  17. VON BISMARK,Vienna.

    One more thing to avoid: PLAYING THE RACE CARD. Get a clue from the Clintons. En bon entendeur!

    August 1, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  18. GerryM

    LOL The rats are deserting the sinking ship! Really shows the Republican version of loyalty: when the going gets tough, the tough are no shows at their party convention. If John McCain even knows how to read blog entries I’m sure he will find this most amusing. He might even give us that morbid cadaverous smile of his. Note to John: stop smiling, you’re frightening the children.

    August 1, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  19. ANGIE


    August 1, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  20. Len in Washington

    "Stay away because we're TOXIC!"
    OMG! Maybe they DO get it!

    August 1, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  21. James Hussein, SC

    Where is that strong John McCain leadership?

    If John McCain is sooo good for the country, why are his colleagues staying away from him?

    If John McCain know how to protest this country so well, where are his supporters?

    Maybe John McCain is as unqualified as sooo many people have been saying all along.

    August 1, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  22. The Real Issue

    This is great my fellow American Republicans.....You are going to lose the White House and many Congressional seats because you are out of touch with a presidential candidate whose record indicates that he has voted 95% of the time with the Bush Administration policies. Others in you party have done the same, especially members of Congress who have voted and supported these policies. The bottom line results and real issues are: More foreclosures that have led to a recessionary economy; More record profits for the Oil Companies-more than any corporation in the history of our country in a recession; 51,000 jobs lost in July, 2008; "No Child Left Behind"-more dropouts in 5 years than Clinton had in 8 years; job eliminations; more corporate and individual bankruptcies; banks closed; problems with Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac that had to be corrected and propped up with TAX MONEY; more jobs outsourced; etc. etc. etc.

    August 1, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  23. Open Your 3rd Eye

    "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."

    CO-SIGN!!!! L.O.L.

    August 1, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  24. Mr C

    A house dividing against itself shall lose in November.

    August 1, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  25. The Real Issue

    The Real Issue is the Republicans need to keep campaigning and spending that money because seats will be lost along with the biggest seat in the White House. Your party has supported policies that have failed most Americans.....foreclosures-jobs-bank closings-more high school dropouts-more corporate bankruptcies-corporations losing money etc...........

    August 1, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
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