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. Bitter in Texas

    Can't wait to watch the Repugnant's convention, just to see Who Doesn't Show Up!!!!LMAO.

    August 13, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  2. Sean

    In view of Obama's consistent lead, Mc Cain's team has gone on the offensive.

    Comparing our next President to Paris and Brittany-come on!! It does surprise me that these negative ads don't seem to be having an impact on the polls.

    It's time for Republicans to hibernate for the next 8 years. We have dessimated this country and it's reputation enough.

    August 13, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  3. Vig

    So what. There are 18 million Hillary supporters who will not be showing up for Obama, I think that's pretty significant – but of course CNN who has used it's influence to endow favortism on Obama will minimize this. Using influence to effect outcome is illegal in many situations. How is it CNN can get away with this? Where is the FCC?

    August 13, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  4. Cyrus - NY

    Yes, self-criticism is good. After all, you and your cronies have run the country for the last eight years!! How about some retribution?

    August 13, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  5. Bob

    Don't be afraid to be anti-washington DC,
    My question is, who is washington DC, aren't they the same people in power?

    Go Dems!

    August 13, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  6. Demdog

    How about other past and present GOP members? Rep Tom Delay? Rep Mark "Inappapropriate Text Messager" Foley? Sen "Wide Stance" Larry Craig? Rep Rick Renzi? Rep John Doolittle? Rep Jerry Lewis? Rep Don Young? Sen Pete Domenici? Rep Bob Ney? Rep Katherine Harris? Sen David "D.C. Madam Client" Vitter? Of course Randy "Duke" Cunningham will have to watch the GOP convention from his jail cell.

    August 13, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  7. RB

    Picture this:
    Obama flailing around as the nation and world crumbles around him and he doesn't have a clue what to do. That happens when you put someone in charge who has absolutely no experience. Words are cheap but experience will give you an indication of what someone will do and act.

    August 13, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  8. leslie

    Who gave that advice to criticize Washington DC? That's transparent, isn't it? GOD, they are trying to sell the soul of our Country for a dime. I guess that just goes to show you how very corrupt they were in the first place. You know what they say, there's no honor among thieves.

    August 13, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  9. phil, philly

    yeah, don't distance yourself because you disagree with the other republicans. just do it as a political ploy in the hopes of getting elected. now there's a party that sticks to its core beliefs.

    August 13, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  10. No Barak Hussien Obama in 08

    BTW the Republican convention is in St. Paul NOT Minneapolis.
    The level of your liberal educations are now showing.

    August 13, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  11. gobama

    If Obama runs the nation anything like he's run his campaign, this will truly be the greatest nation on God's green Earth.

    Kool Aid is still tasting great!

    Obama 08

    August 13, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  12. BJGT

    Like rats deserting a sinking ship!

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

    McCain will make you fall asleep there...

    August 13, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  14. Jeremy Sun

    Yup! Boycott McWar!

    August 13, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  15. Chi4Obama

    What!? Do I sense dissention among the Republicans ranks.
    Just another reason why we can't have 4 more years of Bush...
    This should be another bad sign for Grandpy McSane and the GOP this fall.

    I bet a story like this WOULD NEVER get reported on "FIX" (FOX) news.
    Instead, they will probably choose to focus on implementing more anit-Obama rhetoric; as opposed to reporting real news.

    I believe this is the year of the Democrat

    Obama '08.

    August 13, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  16. Chi4Obama


    August 13, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  17. Raymond Duke

    In this election year whether you are republican or democrat you are on your own. I think that there will also be a lot of democrat seats in jeopardy over backing Obama. I think this is open season on a lot of incumbents. I know that I will not support any senator or congressman that supported Obama. Seen where it has been put out that Colin Powell will endorse Obama. at the convention. They act like this was a big shock. Blacks have voted for Obama with 92 to 95 %. Colin Powell is black isn't he. Thats no big surprise . Just fall in line with the brothers and sisters. To bad that these white liberals were as unloyal to Hillary Clinton as the Blacks were to her and her husband who did more for blacks than any other president in history. They better hope he wins. I have a feeling if he don't that they may get a lot of lip service in the future but no presidential canidate or president will ever again take the chance on them as Bill and Hillary CLINTON DID.

    August 13, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  18. Stephanie

    On McCain and his comments to the Georgian president that he is "speaking for all Americans"! Please! John "StraightTalk" (NOT) McCain does not speak for all Americans! If Barack Obama had done this the biased media would be all over him for this foolishness! Barack went overseas and was well received by other countries (in fact, made America look good) yet here at home was criticized by the media and the right wing for for doing so! I am so sick and tired of the unfairness the media continues to show in this election! Just because John McCain is a former POW does not make him capable of leading our nation! McCain really and truly scares me! He seems to hiss when he speaks and that continuous "my friends" is unnerving to say the least. Wake up America!!!

    August 13, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  19. Kelby from Houston, TX

    I feel that the presidency is all but in the bag for the Democrats. But the Dems MUST HAVE more control over the Senate. They call this a do nothing congress but everything that they have tried to do has been met with a veto or a repug philabuster. So many good bill die in the Senate. You want to get things done dems you need the whole thing. I want it to be just like it was for the Repugs for the Dems. Almost complete control over the legislative and exec branches.

    So everybody send Democratic challenger Jim Slattery a dollar!!!

    August 13, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  20. David in Illinois

    Smart man! More Republicans, in fact all, should choose to skip the GPO hate-fest. That includes the presumptive nominee, John McBush. The Republicans have too much explaining to do to the American people.... it can't all be done in a few days up in Minnesota. What about the two endless, needless wars? What about this economy? What about the deficit? What about our increasing dependence on foreign oil... an independence that has deepened since McBush has been in the Senate and the past eight years with Bush-Cheney? What about all of that? What about the petty, negative, gutter-politics campaign McBush & Co. have been waging?
    See what I mean? Call it off.

    August 13, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  21. Mike

    Run the bums (aka Republicans) out!

    Congress has been stalled only because the Repugnants continue to vote along party lines – holding up the business of the people.

    Get some more Democrats in there so we can some work done!

    Democrats in '08!

    August 13, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  22. ben

    Wow! Can you believe this. Republicans refuse to attend such an important event. It reminds me of people who refused to go into a leper colony. They could go with bat man masks, or a long shagy beard. But no matter what they do, they can not remove the stench the party has placed upon them

    August 13, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  23. not important

    LOL another republican dirtbag.

    August 13, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  24. Tyler in Raleigh

    I am sure now that Cheney is speaking at the convention there is even more reason to run. Mr. "90% votes with the President" McCain is no maverick and the only way he can win the election is to make Obama seem "an elite celebrity".

    This guy is married to a beer heiress, wears $500 shoes and goes jetskiing in Georgia... how is he the "down to earth one"?

    August 13, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    When the ship is sinking the rats jump ship... anything to get re-elected

    August 13, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
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