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. Jonathan, Hartford, CT

    I wonder if the Republicans want John McCain to win the general election. Considering the condition of the economy and the crisis in the Middle East. Anyone who is elected will only run 4 years when the voters do not get instant gratification on economic issues.

    August 1, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. aaa

    GOP crooks? huh mccain,bush cheney and more more more more.............. crook nation GOP nation

    August 1, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. Former g.o.p.

    So the rats are leaving the sinking ship, The S.S.Gop.

    August 1, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  4. aaa

    i dont get it people will elect Republican if he or she stays out of public from Bush or other GOP crook? does that make Mccain a great president or he is not a crook like his buddies? people get it straight GOP will make your life miserable

    August 1, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. Former g.o.p.

    Matt: Another g.o.per, just making things up. Truth is your party will be relegated to Whig status, or maybe the No-Nothings. Ash-heap, meet history.

    August 1, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  6. Joe the Troll

    You might want to avoid using the word "Republican" on your signs and bumper stickers, too.

    August 1, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  7. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    Had the Republicans not spent the last seven and one half years trashing America to the core, betraying its most fundamental principles, all the while endangering the world by turning our republic into an empire-wanna-be rogue nation, they would not have a tragic figure like John McCain as their candidate. But perhaps they can console themselves by tallying up their war and oil profits earned at the expense of the American public they supposedly serve.

    August 1, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. rhonimus


    August 1, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  9. RCLGuard

    PUPPETS! Man, will Republicans stop at nothing. Do they have no shame? How gross.

    What slime these guys are. They want them to say EXACTLY what the Dems have been saying so they can hold onto their coveted seats. Sick. If i were a Republican I would seriously think about changing parties. Seriously. What will be the last straw? What will it take for people to open their eyes and see what's happening? Be objective for once. And think for yourself. Please.

    August 1, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. Anthony, Dallas, Tx

    Dummies, it won't work this year. Stay or go, the republican brand will take a back seat to the dems.

    August 1, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. Mike

    Waste of time is code for,'we are ashamed of our own administration'.
    And if McBush is elected they can have four more years to cringe.

    August 1, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. alan

    perfect case never to believe anything in the media (the garbage on here or on fox and everything in between): they can't even get the convention city correct. at lease they're in the right state. oh yeah, and this republican-democrat bickering is laughable and sad at the same time!

    August 1, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  13. Kongtooth

    Christopher, Madison, WI

    Wow... just wow...

    I like the fillibuster remark about congress... you might want to do some research and see whos done them... mostly by dems blocking votes on judges.

    Why won't the dems let the vote on oil drilling go... even though 65% of Americans want it to happen... so much for the people.

    But go ahead and defend you dem congress... first 100 days Pelosi said how much would get done... what a crock... blind leading the blind.

    August 1, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  14. Seattle Sue

    It does not matter to me if Republicans go to their convention or not. The past eight years has sicken me of Republicans to the point of I will vote never for a Republican even if running for a dog catcher position!

    August 1, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  15. EBC

    If THIS is NOT a warning flag to "Old and Grouchie" McBush, I dont' know what is.

    These GOP Leaders KNOW that their party is in serious trouble. They have a candidate that can't fill up a stadium AND is NOT connecting with majority of young voters.

    They have a Senator (Stevens) who is once again being indicted in Federal Court for taking "BRIBES" from OIL companies!!!

    AND YOU have Sen. John McBUSH taking donations from OIL Companies because he's tooting their horns in regards to off shore drilling. We all KNOW that the drillings will NOT help LOWER gas prices and it will NOT solve any oil crisis for at least 10+ years, if that.

    So Americans better WAKE UP and start paying attention to the WARNING SIGNS. They ignored the warning signs TWICE when they voted for George W. Bush. IF they haven't LEARNED their lessons yet, then SHAME ON THEM!!!

    August 1, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  16. Phil-Texas

    I hope who ever goes to the convention realizes that being republican is about to be like a polar bear in global warming. It's gonna get hot out there. You guys better change your spots, sing a different tune or what ever you want to put here. It is going to be a long time before anyone will trust you.

    August 1, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  17. Mark

    I want the republicans to hold the convention.

    I am hoping the Ron Paul is still planning to speak at the conference to explain his views on the economy for all to hear.

    August 1, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  18. Voter


    Obama needs a football stadium for all the people who want to go to the convention.

    McSame needs other republicans to stay away because their own convention could hurt them!

    It's ok though the RNC convention will have a few days of ignoring the issues!

    August 1, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. The Texan Cowboys

    Still a corrupt party any ways..

    August 1, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  20. Lesley

    This is just peachy for McCain, pushing the Republican agenda prompted by big oil and the Bush tax cuts. Odd man out again. Obama will fill a stadium, and according to this, practically no one will show up for McCain's annointment. Maybe they'll all be down at Ron Paul's gig.

    August 1, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  21. Dixon, Des Moines Iowa

    Hey Matt, it took the Republicans 12+ years to screw this country up before the Democrates took over. Now they have a majority that is easily pushed a side in any vote. I am not very happy with my party right now. However, I know they have put some bills out there to help the average person that were shut down by the republican vote. That low rating includes the Republicans too.

    August 1, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  22. Michele, Oregon

    Almost sounds like they know that to be involved with McCain is to aquiesce to the current administration as his policies are so much in line with Bush. Not a good thing for someone running now, but it is very telling.

    For two years the Congress was republican, we had a republican President, and a conservative Supreme Court. Even with a majority we see what they did. Now there are more Democrats, but they have had to buck Bush's veto and do not have enough seats to overcome a filibuster. They have lacked guts in my opinion, but the more the seats go democratic along with a democratic president, we have the best scenario to finally get things done. FOR THE PEOPLE!

    August 1, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  23. Jude

    Wow...suprising....GOP's telling their own to stay away....I think everyone should stay away then for that matter. How about we all just stay away from the GOP? Anybody with me here?

    August 1, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  24. Proud American

    GOP leaders should just stay home and avoid the election.

    August 1, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  25. Ken

    For once, I agree with a [R]: the RNC will indeed be a "waste of time"! Furthermore, people who continue to support the current [R] debacle are a waste of space.

    Thus, what you will have at the RNC will be a celebration of the new kind of physics that has been inflicted on this country for the past 7 years: wasted space-time. I believe Einstein saw this possibility in his equations, but chose to reject it as being too bizarre. It is indeed ironic that such a new solution to Einstein's equations was not found by the highly trained and intelligent among us, but instead was brought about the imbeciles that populate this country.

    But let's face it, using imagery from Einstein's famous thought experiments, only an imbecile could have watched the train head off in the wrong direction the last 7 years ending up off the track and yet then come up with some sort of "wasted" space-time solution which tells them that not only did the train NOT go off the track, but it was never heading in the wrong direction in the first place!

    The RNC will be the biggest collection of idiots in one place ever. What the article is telling us is that even some [R]s know this, and they are trying to warn away some of their friends to not be part of the "wasted" spectacle. That there is hope for some [R]s is only vaguely comforting.

    August 1, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
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