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. Christopher In TN

    More rats leave the sinking ship.

    August 13, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |

    im sure they will be welcome at the Democratic convention

    August 13, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  3. Obamalism

    Think about the future.... Obama is president. Russia has invaded all of the old USSR countries. Iran has nuclear weapons. Iraq is in a civil war and is controlled by Iran via proxy terrorism. Israel has been bombed and invaded by surrounding muslim nations. Americas economy has ground to a stop due to $10 gas and back breaking taxes on the productive part of society. We have national healthcare, but no doctors. The southern states have effectively been overrun by mexican immigrants. Radio, the voice of the people, has been shut down via the fairness doctrine. Congress approval ratings are at 4% as dems controls the house, senate, presidency and supreme court.

    I can't wait...

    See? I can play that game too!

    August 13, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  4. Joe Bloggs, Haiku, HI

    And the media is still trying to sell the RACE TOO CLOSE TO CALL BS! LOL! I think the Republican know something the media is refusing to acknowledge. LANDSLIDE in NOvember. Just wait until mCSame gets on the same stage with Obama. I can't wait! Let's see if he can tell Sunni from Shia, pronounce the name of the Georgian President – who he has jet-skiied with, remember that Czechoslovakia hasn't exisied as such for 15 years...etc and don't let me get started on those fake sneering grins!

    August 13, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  5. JA Cook

    I'm going to skip the Republican convention too.

    Instead I'm attending Liars Anonymous along with several others who are trying to break free of this Republican habit.

    August 13, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  6. Hawk Texas

    So they don't go to the convention. they are still the same republicans that have sold this country down the drain. they hide, and then go baxck to doing the same thing once it is over. i just can not understand how anyone could ever vote republican again.

    August 13, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  7. Gary Chandler in Canada

    What if? Just what if? (and there is enough information to consider the possibility) what if Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia really is a war criminal. What if (IF) russia just happens to be right and America won't even investigate!? what if Russia cannot be hypnotised into believing the murder of blue beret russian peace keepers and 1500 civilians was not a war crime?
    What if he is a war criminal and America discovered this to be true?
    What if Russia's request to investigate Mikheil Saakashvili as a war criminal was accepted and they THEN they would not stand down?
    THEN America would 'finally' have the moral high ground in a conflict!
    America, you don't have to CHOOSE sides; just agree to an IMPARTIAL investigation!
    I'm NOT a russian lover, but Georgia DID invade S Ossetia before Russia reacted! Mikheil Saakashvili HAS blood on his hands, and America wants to shake hands with him!?

    August 13, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  8. Obamalism

    How is this any worse than Pelosi telling democrat congressmen to blame her for not allowing a vote on oil drilling so they can keep their seats...and effectively put her back in office. Anything to get that 60 seat super majority so they can spit on our founding fathers grave and turn this great nation into yet another socialist experiment.

    August 13, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |

    It's okay. They won't be missing anything interesting anyway. The repub convention will have very few watchers, if any. So might as well skip it.

    OBAMA '08

    August 13, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  10. Debby

    A handful is right what is there 4 not going hahaha.

    August 13, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  11. Anne E.

    This is even funnier than Mrs. Senator McCain's owie (and I was thinking it was something serious, like a broken acrylic).
    At any rate, another chicken bailing from the convention.
    The GOP has given a whole new meaning to the term "CUT AND RUN." They're stuck with GW & Dick Cheney, there's nothing they can do about it, and I for one am ecstatic about it!!! Let's see those two save GOP incumbents' jobs come November....

    August 13, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  12. Tom in MD

    Great advice from Mr. Cole. After Republicans have pretty much unanimously rubber-stamped everything Bush wants and stood united against everything congressional Democrats have tried to do, they are now advised to go back to their constituents and say:

    "Hey, I've been trying to do what's right all along and it's just all those OTHER Republicans who have been messing things up!"

    It might make sense for one or two who really don't go along with the pack, but when every one of them is saying it then it's obvious most of them are lying.

    It's funny until you realize that enough people will buy it to reelect many of them (or just don't think the economy and preventing World War 3 are as important as stopping gay marriage).

    August 13, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  13. Brian, Quad Cities

    So....... Where are the McCain't spammers at?

    August 13, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  14. matter what!

    Of course these Repugnants don't want to be seen with their own kind! What does that say to how bad the GOP have been running things from all levels....and they still expect the their victims to be re-elected???

    Black, White, good looking, bad looking, young or matter what!

    August 13, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  15. Marc PDX

    I'm an Oregon Republican and I won't be voting for Gordon Smith. In order to remove him we will have to accept a Democrat winning this election then work to put another Republican in place next time. I'm not going to vote for the Democrat (Merkley) but I'm not voting for Smith either. With Republicans like him who needs... (you know the rest)...

    August 13, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  16. seg

    How did we end up with these two candidates?

    August 13, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  17. Ardnuas

    It doesn't matter..... The CLINTONS are working behind the scenes to destroy Obama anyway. The Republicans don't have to do ANYTHING to win.

    August 13, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  18. rhoward

    At this rate, Ron Paul will have more people at his convention than the presumptive Republican nominee.

    August 13, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  19. Jason, Los Angeles

    This all sounds like silent endorsements for Obama. McCain has no shot at the Oval Office. As soon as the debates kick off, and people start seeing Obama and McCain side by side on TV, people will flock to Barack in droves. Obama has the ideas of a great leader, but he talks and looks like one, too. McCain just doesn't have what it takes to lead my country.

    August 13, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  20. Marie Ontario

    Republicans can denounce their party and McCain as much as they like but they are married to fact they have supported Bush/McCain policies for 8 years and now it's caught up with them.

    That's what elections are all about. Holding people responsible for their actions.

    August 13, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  21. Karen - Missouri

    I say vote straight Democratic ticket in the states to get rid of the Republicans who are ruining this economy and their own states.

    August 13, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  22. Anita from Arizona

    What happened when the Titanic started to sink? People jumped ship.

    August 13, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  23. Franky

    You know, even they gotta stick together. And as much as President Bush or Cheney might've not had an earlier role after it was announced they will attend, the matter of fact is that they are Republicans.

    What are they gonna do?? Just sit there and wait for God??

    Even they know they have boundaries...they ain't stupid. They've played this game pretty well the last couple of years but now is making sure they have a headache.

    August 13, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  24. TonyinKentucky

    Why this doesn't put the public on alert, I can't guess. The Republicans are in effect saying they have wrecked the country and all hands on deck should scatter to avoid the blow back and just hope they can hang on to enough power to keep running the nation into the ditch.

    John Q. Public needs to heed the GOP's advise and stay away from them.

    August 13, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  25. Sacto Joe

    Per CNN, "Refineries were operating at 85.9% of capacity" and oil has risen in price as a result.

    What the @#$%#ck! is THAT!!!?

    We reduce demand, and our reward is that the refineries REDUCE CAPACITY, thus ultimately driving the price of gasoline higher? Where is the OUTRAGE against the oilmen running this country into the ground??!

    And how in hades can anyone justify putting another REPUBLICAN in the office of President under the circumstances?

    August 13, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
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