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. biffington, biff

    After all the crap from the last 8 years....

    now look at them....

    the country is so bad off, that they literally have to run from their own party.

    i ask this of thinking people only. (the many trolls on here are excused)


    August 13, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  2. M. Winners, Mesa, AZ

    If I were a repug politico running for office I'd stay away from the convention too! Wouldn't want to get any of them McLame – Bush – Cheney cooties on me either.

    August 13, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  3. outsider

    Macain said that he is speaking for all Americans to the georgians, he is not the president, only the president can speak for all the nation but nobody calls him presumptous or arrogant, if it was Obama, u double standard ideot will complain

    August 13, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  4. JIM...TX

    The republicans are throwing a party and NOBODY want's to come.....PRICELESS:)

    August 13, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  5. Jordan - San Marcos TX

    I hope they have to move the convention to a high school gym. It would fit with their high school campaign strategy.

    August 13, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  6. Melissa Sandoval in Whittier, CA

    He's busy. He can't make it. He's focusing on his own re-election. What's the problem? No big deal here.

    August 13, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  7. bob in LA

    I'm glad I am not as much of a wimp as these guys.
    What they are sayign is they are just the people we don't want but are tryign to hide from their beliefs

    August 13, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  8. rosemccovery

    you know with this race thing has gone to far . we let a white man see warmth in puttin eyes at the ranch. what happen too the love affair. when all seen russisa was up too something. we did not have weapons in iraq. mcain wiill you come get my turkey knife. we are looking at color . not smarts. you can talk bad but but can you back it up. smartness have know coler line. you did not see russisa coming.our county is getting to be haters. the russians waited until we took our eyes off the ball.

    August 13, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  9. Lacy

    “Don’t be afraid to say you are disappointed in fellow Republicans… don’t hesitate to be anti-Washington, D.C."

    My what a flip flop from "you're with us or against us."

    Hypocrisy at it's most blatant, now that their (the republicans') approval is way down and people want to kick them out, it's ok to criticize washington.

    August 13, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  10. linda from South Dakota

    umm all i can say is,,, i just read where a top advisor to mccain recieves very large amounts of money form the president of gerogia in russia,, ummm i smell a rat,, do you? no wonder hes(mccain) is the way he is,,,,shhhhhhh(mccain) dont tell anyone about this,, shhhh

    August 13, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  11. Please Love Me and Post My Stuff

    Why can't the senate and house work at doing the job instead of trying to keep it? If they really did what they were hired to do they wouldn't have to worry about keeping the job. Just a thought.

    August 13, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  12. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    As an Obama supporter,
    I think it's odd that so many of their elected officials are not going to attend the convention. That's just strange to me.
    Oh well, I'm sure the Republicans will still figure out a way to fill their arena during their convention.

    August 13, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  13. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    After the absolute mess the Republican Party has made of this country, its economy, and its government over the past 8 years, they should ALL stay home, and PERMANENTLY!

    August 13, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  14. Nando, Florida

    ROME IS BURNING !!!!!!!!!

    August 13, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  15. Billy J -Austin-Tx

    Sure wish we had better democrats to fill the vacancies that the republicans are making this year. I don't dig the movers and shakers in our party right now (pelosi, reid, obama, dean) Would prefer the old gaurd from the 90's (Clinton, Clark, Biden)

    August 13, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  16. rosemccovery

    wake up people get on broad . let it be a new day i dont like broke.

    August 13, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  17. Que Quedas

    I don't get it why wouldn't a republican senatorwant to be seen with the republican nominee........oh yeah because the nominee is a empty suit......with alot of experience in changing nothing

    August 13, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  18. Napoleon McCain

    There is no benefit to being a republican so you'll see everyone running away from "the brand" ... I can not follow that man.

    Even the party's new standard bearer, John McCain will be running as far as he can from Bush and Cheney.

    Once every 50 to 60 years America has the wisdom to elect a transformational president ... just think back in history. The last time was Kennedy in 1960.

    Next will be Obama in 2008. He is a leader I can follow.

    August 13, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  19. Justin Hussein - NC



    George Bush really did a number for his party. To recall the GOP 2004 slogan, "What's your plan?" To skip the convention or not? Hehehe.
    Meanwhile in's a who's who of politics! Anybody who's anybody will be there, all trying to get some of Obama's magic rays of hope! Only PUMAs and the Denver Group (a.k.a. undercover Repubs) wll try to dampen Obama's magic and yet...their voices will be silenced by 75,000 fans in the stadium shouting Obama! Obama! Obama!

    Yes We Can 08

    August 13, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  20. Anna

    I just think this is the year EVERYONE changes their party affiliation.

    It won't be the first time, of course.

    The Republicans used to be the liberals (power to the feds) and the Democrats more conservative (state-rights based).
    Even then the party-affiliates felt members of the other were the Children of the Devil.

    Abraham Lincoln, the consummate man of change, was a Republican.

    But nowadays, everyone thinks they are the one with 'the big ideas'.
    Bah. Big whoop.

    August 13, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  21. Bayou Joe

    Every man for himself. The problem with our country is that our elected officials have no "Cojones" to tell the American people the truth about the dangers of Socialism and the Marxists within our society. The best thing that can happen to awaken Americans is for all the Republican Senators to lose their office and then watch this country go to hell in a basket. The Democrats will destroy this country yet and we are going to allow it because of our ignorance of their agenda. The famous words uttered by Kruschev will become reality.
    "We will destroy america without firing a shot"....Now we know what he meant.

    August 13, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  22. Anna

    He looks like George Bush, Sr.

    August 13, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  23. judge huck

    Pat, you can run but you can't hide... maybe worth being independent this time.

    August 13, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  24. Joe Kiloz

    Ticker: His right shoe was noticed more polished than his left. Followup later.

    August 13, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  25. jo

    you are welcome to denver sir.

    August 13, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
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