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. Observer

    Wow, pretty bad when so many House and Senate members bail out of the Republican convention. Now, just how many Democrats have bailed from theirs....? Zero.

    August 13, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  2. Red States and Blue States = Gridlock

    It is time to end the two party system. Let the Independents rule, and do away with party registration

    August 13, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  3. ann parker

    Think about the future, what are you drinking?

    August 13, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  4. Josh

    Larry Craig will be skipping the convention in Minneapolis, not b/c he's retiring, but b/c he'd be retiring to the scene of the crime....

    that's where everyone, including his wife and family, found out that he'd pulled his pants down to expose his hypocritical life

    August 13, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  5. Hannah Stevens

    I am with Think About the Future. This person aptly describes what it would be like to have McCain sitting in the White House. McCain is very pro war and would jump at the chance to start another one with Iran, Syria any country that looked at us sideways. He "my senator" from Arizona and leading up to the iraq war, I wrote letter after letter to him imploring him to go against the war, but he wrote back that he supported the Iraq war 100%. He is bad for America.

    August 13, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  6. Craig Hastings, MN

    The GOP convention is NOT in Minneapolis you idiots. It is in FACT in St. Paul. Why can't you people get it straight? People thinking this is going to be some kind of landslide are at best delusional and at worst in need of serious therapy.

    August 13, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  7. ShirleyY - Seattle




    August 13, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  8. Miranda

    Are any republicans actually coming to the convention or will they be paying actors to play republicans for a few days?

    August 13, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  9. Jimmy P - Chicago

    Then he ought not consider himself a Republican. On another point, you all refer to McCain as McSame? I don't get it, Bush has been great for those who educated themselves, and got white collar jobs. You are all just a bunch of goons who need the government to run every aspect of your miserable lives. Carock Obama will go down, one way or another.

    August 13, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  10. matter what!

    (Please disregard the former comment made)

    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 for their victims to re-elect them???

    Black, White, good looking, bad looking, young or old….vote Democrat….no matter what!

    August 13, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  11. James in Ocala

    If I were a Pepublican I would skip the covention too.

    August 13, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  12. jason, Texas

    All should run far away from McSame!!! RUN AWAY!!!!

    August 13, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  13. Darrel from Denver

    Rats jumping ship. It just shows that there may, in fact, be some in the Republican party who are not stupid after all.

    August 13, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  14. Peter (CA)

    Interesting that we continue to see all these posts blaming Democrats in Congress for all of the things wrong in this country and projecting all kinds of blame on Obama for whatever is currently happening.

    Yet, it's the Republicans who do not want to go to their convention, even though the RNC is trying to hide Bush and Cheney.

    This is the year to take the country back from the elitists!

    August 13, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  15. Ron Nebraska

    CNN, why do you hold my comments in moderation forever?

    August 13, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  16. LOL

    Rice said Russia cannot act like its American forebears:

    "This is not 2003 and the invasion of Iraq, where Russia can threaten its neighbors, occupy a capital and get away with it," Rice said Wednesday, referring to the USA sending troops into Iraq years earlier to liberate oppressed oil.

    August 13, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  17. KEYA


    August 13, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  18. Priscilla

    I don't blame him. The Republicans are a disgrace!

    August 13, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  19. Obamacan

    Ha Ha Ha, run for the hills Repugnants! It seems no one wants to be seen with another Repugnant these days.

    August 13, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  20. Brian

    I don't think anyone will be on hand to watch McCain in Minneapolis. Now the rumor is there will be a lot of people in St. Paul.

    August 13, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  21. Paul from Texas

    The rats leave the ship first right. Maybe some will even change parties.

    August 13, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  22. Yinka

    It is not at all surprising that Republicans are ditching senator McCain. Nearly a dozen of senator McCain's Republican colleagues in the Senate and the house have made it clear that they will not attend the convention, while some are still contemplating whether or not to stay away from the convention. All of this in an attempt to distance themselves from senator McCain. The question is: why should anyone vote for Mccain when his own party is avoiding him?

    There is a lot of concerns about senator McCain`s appetite for war. I hope he does not excercibate the Goergia/Russia crisis with his so-called "tough talk". He believes that "nations don't invade nations", but he signed off on invading Iraq and he is encouraging invading Iran.

    August 13, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  23. St. Paul Supporter

    The RNC convention is being held in St. Paul, not Minneapolis as falsely reported in this story. This is sloppy journalism.

    August 13, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  24. mel

    Republican are afraid because Bush really hurt them with his
    ugly administration and tactics used.He and follower go the
    republican looking to save their necks for Bush poor leadership.
    Voter,wake up it is time change,get away from the old and bring
    in the new. The time is now for america to head in different direction.
    Obama and the democrates party can see to this happening.

    August 13, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  25. Mad

    I always thought the day would come when Reps stepped down and Dems gained control- I always supported that till now

    I am sad to say that the Dems aren't doing their jobs- have a rogue presidential candidate whose trademark is change and the reps are doing good stuff now

    Stupid independents and young kids dethroned the Clintons- when we had PEACE AND PROSPERITY

    Hillary is not some evil person we all see in the blogs- she can do more for this country than her husband and she has.

    August 13, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
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