August 13th, 2008
04:10 PM ET
12 years ago

Another Republican senator skipping convention

Roberts is skipping his party's convention.

Roberts is skipping his party's convention.

(CNN) - Another Senate Republican is officially skipping the party's national convention next month, the latest sign vulnerable Republicans may be wary of linking themselves to the GOP brand this election cycle.

Pat Roberts, the two-term senator from Kansas who finds himself in a closer re-election bid than initially expected, won't be on hand to see Sen. John McCain accept the Republican presidential nomination in Minneapolis, his spokesman Molly Haase confirmed to CNN.

Roberts will instead be completing a 105-county tour of the state, Haase said. Polls show Roberts holds a double digit lead over Democratic challenger Jim Slattery, though the race has narrowed over the last several weeks.

Roberts joins a handful of vulnerable Senate Republicans who have flatly said they will not attend the convention, including Susan Collins of Maine, Gordon Smith of Oregon, Ted Stevens of Alaska, and Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina.

Two other vulnerable Republicans - New Hampshire Sen. John Sununu and Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker - have yet to announce if they will attend.

Roberts' decision comes a week after Republican Congressional Committee Chair Tom Cole reportedly suggested some embattled Republicans should steer clear of the GOP Convention.

According to a report in The Hill, the Oklahoma congressman also 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."

Filed under: John McCain • RNC
soundoff (203 Responses)
  1. trust

    If Obama choose Joe Biden or Evan Bayh he would take either democrat from senate seats. If he chooses Chuck Hagel he gets a Republican with veteran affairs experience and gets Nebraska. OK, so I think it will be Chuck Hagel.
    Pat Roberts, try to hold on to that senate seat. LOL

    Dems '08

    August 13, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  2. CW4Barack

    The harder they come.....the harder they fall. Get rid of the Repugnants!

    August 13, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  3. Think about the future

    Who can you picture as President? Imagine John McCain, at just about two years into his term. The problems in the Middle East have grown worse, the economy is still circling the drain, the world has its lowest opinion of American history. McCain is weak, suffering the side effects of chemo-therapy and radiation treatment for skin cancer. He's lost his hair and is frequently hospitalized. Our nation is suffering, and the only thing McCain has accomplished is the continuation of policies and ideology that got our country headed down the wrong path to begin with.

    Now picture Obama. Young, refreshing, diplomatic, and liked by our allies around the world. An example of progress being made in America, and a rejection of the old, failed policies that are drowning our nation.

    August 13, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. NoMcSame

    I would run too. Run as far away from McSame as Bush as you can MY FRIEND. See you in Denver.

    August 13, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. Abby

    Come on November! Its going to be a landslide! But until then, we cannot let up!! No rest till November 5th.

    OBAMA 08

    August 13, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    It's okay if their conscience, tell them not to attend, then they shouldn't attend. All republicans are not bad people. Senator Richard Lugar is a Republican here in the State of Indiana and Democrats here love him.

    August 13, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. Linda from Prescott AZ

    If I were a republican I would be distancing myself as well.

    August 13, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  8. S. Boatman

    Seems Like No One Wants To Climb Aboard A Sinking Ship!

    August 13, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  9. cherrystrawberry

    rats jumping a sinking and stinking ship. LMAO

    August 13, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  10. Jim

    Boy that make's sense, let's be anti-republican and convince the voter's to vote for a republican....:::scratch's head:::

    August 13, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  11. AL in West Palm Beach, FL

    I will help the GOP hold their convention at the local IHOP... Pancakes on me. After all there won't be more than 30 people present.

    August 13, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  12. get a life

    Gee I can rent my tool shed for the republican convention. Cheap. What happens when you hold a convention and no one comes. Can you spell loser.

    August 13, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. JJ


    August 13, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  14. ARB

    I dont know what kind of dream world you're living in Think About....BUT YOU NEED TO WAKE UP.

    August 13, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  15. Brian

    Coward!.............. whatever happened to standing for what you believe in???

    August 13, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  16. Amy


    August 13, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  17. David Goldman for OBAMA








    August 13, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. McLame

    Who wants to go to a memorial service for McSAME?

    August 13, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  19. Whay Are Republicans Running Away From Bush and McCain?

    If your are proud of your party, its platform, and leaders you would show up for the convention. What's up? You have come too far to turn back now! I do realize that the Republican Convention will be as boring as all get out; however, if you are a serious Republican, you should support your party to the wall and endure the lies and boredom of your convention.

    August 13, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. Brad in MN

    Are they planning on skipping the Republican convention in St. Paul as well?

    CNN, get your convention locations straight.

    August 13, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  21. Michelle, PA

    It's final, McCain, Bush, and Cheyney are officially political poison.

    If you are a republican and your opponent has a pulse, avoid being in the same room with any of the above at all costs!

    August 13, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  22. Susan

    Rats deserting a sinking ship!

    August 13, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  23. LLM from MD

    Who's divided?

    August 13, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  24. Joe

    His own party doesn't even stand by him. McCain will not be our next President. He's going to lose bad.

    Think About The Future...beautifully said.

    August 13, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  25. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Like rats from a sinking ship...these are The Days of Our Lives....

    August 13, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
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