August 13th, 2008
04:10 PM ET
11 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. dollorbil

    Can't blame the man.

    August 13, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. RCLGuard

    Think About The Future – is right.

    I'm 100% for Obama and not just because I'm a Dem but because McCain is the worst possible candidate. I'm not saying a Rep couldn't be a great president. Had you guys put up Guilani or Hagel, the field would be very different. But you guys put up McCain because it was 'his turn' not because he has the best ideas for the country's future and he's an inspiring candidate. McCain inspiring? Come on guys, that's laughable. Give Obama the chance. He's going to go a great job and deep down you kinda know it.

    August 13, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. jfs Memhis, Tn

    So all you McCain you folks see this a positive??? I fear that not the best candidate was put up for the nomination for a reason.......the better Republican Candidates DO NOT want to be branded by this era of Republicanisam.

    August 13, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. gary


    August 13, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  5. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    John McCain has cooked his own goose and Republicans are just running for the hills. McCain and Lieberman yesterday made it clear how they stand without diplomacy on international affairs. McCain with Lieberman's support are getting us in the worse mess with Russian which neither used judgement about before speaking. Now when McCain was interviewed today about it he repeatedly tried his best to avoid questions about using the Russia and Georgia conflict as a political platform, he was asked three times and still couldn't deny or respond. Russia is not taking McCain's words lightly. Imagine McCain as president and your answer should be he is unfit and will start war and get us all killed.

    August 13, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. ED Ingram

    I was watching Sen McCain and I noticed that his jaw seems to be swelling. Any Comments from McCain?

    August 13, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  7. McCain is a senile old bag

    Slowly but surely all the republicans are starting to 'get it'. First the smarter more educated ones of course but I am sure come November only the religious nuts and redneck warmongers will vote McWar/McSenile/Mcwrinkly old dude.

    Be smarter; Love America Love the world Vote Obama

    August 13, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. ..OUTRAGEOUS Liberal...

    Why doesn't Hillary and PUMA speak at the Republican Convention and put their names on the ballot? They should march around infront of that one since they love McCain's chances against Hillary in 2012... AS IF. Someone said it here and it bears repeating:" If wishes were horses all beggars would ride" You wish you weren't a Republican?, You beg us to over look your party's decimation of the nation? Ride on out from infront of my face, charlatan! Go to your own conventions you Republican kooks.

    August 13, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. Kevin

    It seems Mccain and Bush smell so bad that even the republicans can't stand the stench.

    August 13, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. lovable liberal

    But they still couldn't get Darth Cheney to stay in his undisclosed location.

    August 13, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  11. joanne

    I believe that everyone that can should be at the convention to support -the Republican party! John McCain may not have been my choice – but He is sure much better than Obama.

    August 13, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  12. Paul

    Another attempt to make it sound worse than it really is. For all you Obama fans out there, if he gets elected, the honeymoon will last maybe two months before realility sets in. McCain is more than able to perform for 4 years. He will always put this nation and its people first! Obama will always cator to special interest groups on the left. He will weaken this country because he is not a uniter. McCain is.


    MCCAIN 2008

    August 13, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |



    August 13, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  14. Steven Pentecost

    The RNC should hold their convention of crooks in Bagdad. I'm sure with 80billion dollar surplus they can afford a shin-dig and a half. Think any of those war-mongers would show, kinda doubt, but we can still hope.

    August 13, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  15. Tim

    CNN!!! Why are you now reporting the serious issues for the Republican convention. It seems like the Repubs have a unity problem as well. How about reporting that as well!!!!

    August 13, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  16. JB

    McCain cheated on his crippled wife that waited for him as a POW to run off with a beer heiress.

    Experience? How about morals?

    August 13, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  17. bridgette

    I don't understand why they can't go to their convention. I think that is what looks bad.

    August 13, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  18. Linda

    At last...some smart Republicans fleeing their party!

    August 13, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  19. ggamma

    Another sign of Republican's hopeless

    August 13, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. Twin Cities sister

    Dear CNN,
    The Republican National Convention will be held in St. Paul, not Minneapolis. You are among many news sources making this mistake. As a resident of a Minneapolis suburb, I do appreciate your glowing coverage of my city, but in this case, your spotlight should shine on our neighbor across the Mississippi. Many thanks.

    August 13, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  21. Xavier, Saint Louis, Missouri

    Smart Man. The GOP is a bunch of stooges and some of them are finally starting to see the light!

    August 13, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  22. Rob indetroit

    For all the dem,sen running for office attack yourrepub counter parts on skipping the repub convention, don't let the run and hide.

    August 13, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  23. Jim

    Most Americans know deep in their hearts that our two-party democratic system requires a change in leadership and a repudiation of the Bush/McCain policies. Even Republican senators like Pat Roberts sense the tide is running against the GOP and are chosing to skip the convention.

    Fortunately voters who want such change have a clear choice for President: a highly intelligent, "A" student," flexible, pragmatic and clear-thinking Sen. Obama, vs. a bumbling, "C student," rigid, ideological and confused Sen. McCain.

    August 13, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  24. Phil in KC

    Pretty bad when party leaders are telling their candidates they should avoid the convention. What kind of message does that send? An accurate one, I would guess. Avoid aligning yourself with McCain or the national party. If they're that radioactive in Kansas.....
    Of course, we know why Ted Stevens will not be attending. I imagine he is persona non grata at any Republican gathering right now.

    August 13, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  25. Charlotte

    DNC=Dumb Nuts Committee
    I love the way the Obama-bots call for party unity and want a republican as VP? Get real you mindless fans, the party is democrat, not repubacat? Who will run for President, God Forbid, if Obama should win the election and serve his term? The incumbent would be a Republican. I cannot believe Obama would pick a republican as VP and expect any kind of party unity in November. His fans are pretty crazy, but I can't believe they could be that stupid. Maybe they are as dumb as I first thought they were. Whomever McCain picks as VP is, without a doubt, a hairs breath away from the Presidency. The party expects Hillary to be so loyal to the party, but Obama can pick a republican as VP, go figure. I will write Hillary on my ballot in November….

    August 13, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
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