August 18th, 2008
03:20 PM ET
12 years ago

Coleman wouldn't attend convention either

Coleman faces a tough re-election race.

Coleman faces a tough re-election race.

(CNN) - Among Republican senators, an invitation to the party's convention next month in Minneapolis might just be the easiest ticket to score in town.

Amid news several Senate Republicans have already backed out of attending the quadannual event, Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman made clear Monday he wouldn't attend either - if the convention was anywhere else but his backyard.

Watch: Convention conundrum

"The colleagues who don't come are staying at home only because they have tough races," the embattled senator told Minnesota Public Radio. "If the convention wasn't in St. Paul, I wouldn't be at the convention,"

Coleman, like many of his colleagues who have opted not to make the trip to Minnesota, faces a tough re-election battle this fall and may be wary of tying himself to the unpopular GOP brand.

Coleman's rivals are slamming the comments.

"Senator Coleman must think Minnesotans haven't noticed that he has made his political career off the Republican label and willingly hitched his star to George W. Bush," Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
Chair Brian Melendez said in a statement.

Coleman's comments come only days after Pat Roberts, the two-term senator from Kansas and former Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, announced he's skipping the convention to instead focus on his tougher-than-expected reelection bid.

Earlier: Another Republican senator skipping convention

A handful of of other vulnerable Senate Republicans have flatly said they will not attend, 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 their convention plans.

Filed under: Norm Coleman • RNC
soundoff (127 Responses)
  1. well well now

    wow the fact that sooooo many Repubs refuse to go to their own convention should be telling you something, what do they know that we dont?

    August 18, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  2. Phil Newton Murphy, Oregon

    What if they gave a convention and nobody came?

    Pretty sad, when the G.O.Pee brand is so rotten that its own politicians won't go near it for the stench.

    Obama 08

    August 18, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  3. PG

    You can run but you can not hide!

    August 18, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  4. pat C.

    that tells us something when members of McCains own party don't want to be seen with him. this is great news however because now all of hillary's PUMAS can get good seats.

    August 18, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  5. proud army and navy mom

    Maybe the repugs can save a some money and gas, and go ahead and cancel their pitiful convention. Nobody's gonna be there anyways.

    I can bet you, it won't get any airtime on my tv.

    August 18, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  6. Matthew

    Would anyone willingly go into a torture chamber?

    This Nov. will be a bloodletting, and the GOP will know it by the trail of "death" left behind by the Democrat politicians.

    August 18, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  7. Helene

    I don't blame him. The rats are deserting the boat it seems ...

    August 18, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  8. Joe Kiloz

    T T S P : T H I S T O O S H A L L P A S S !

    August 18, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  9. Rumpusgoopus

    Can he please not attend anyway? The longer he's away from MN, the better for MN.

    August 18, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  10. Richard J H

    maybe b/c they don't want to take a week out of their own reelection race for an event that is nothing more than schmoozing and partying. That goes for both conventions.

    how's teh guest list for the DNC? anyone not going to attend? Please tell me, CNN. . .

    August 18, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  11. Dj

    I don't blame the enlightened Republicans... the R-ship is sinking...

    August 18, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  12. Greg

    Senator Coleman continues to try and distance himself from President Bush after being in lockstep with him these past seven years. This man is the ultimate political opportunist, and will say anything to remain elected even as he fails to serve us the constituents of Minnesota

    August 18, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  13. St. Paul

    Hey CNN, the GOP convention is in St. Paul. Get it right!!!

    August 18, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  14. ProudToBeDemocrat

    This is the sign of a broken and corupt Republican party falling apart.

    August 18, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  15. steve a, texas

    This is great, I love it......Obama 08

    August 18, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  16. RealityKing

    I'm not sure which is worse, the Republicans not showing up for political reasons or the Democrats not showing up for criminal reasons. And then there's the Clintons.

    Comedy Central.., here we come!

    August 18, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  17. fred

    what is so great about a convention? If you're in a tight race, campaigning would be better than attending a media event with some high-up celebrities speaking. Going to a convention is just like going to a concert nowadays.

    August 18, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  18. dittohead with forty names

    Run,rabbits run,you missed the starting gun.I laugh at Republicans from town and say to them "I never take it off".

    August 18, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  19. Geoz

    Where did I leave that moral high ground again?

    Was it in a bathroom stall in Minnesota or did ol Brownie take it somewhere?

    August 18, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  20. Peter

    no one likes McCain, and they say democrats are divided? YEAH RIGHT!

    August 18, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. Connie

    I think the republican convention is beginning to look like a town hall meeting. OBAMA 08
    Connie from Indiana

    August 18, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  22. Lisa M

    I guess I hadn't heard that there were so many Republican seats in jeopardy this time around.

    Is that really the reason?

    My guess was that somebody is trying to avoid being painted with the same brush.

    August 18, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  23. a, holley

    they see the writing on the wall, They already know McBush in going to lose Bigg Time. Only the Stupid media is trying to make it seem like this is really a race.

    August 18, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  24. Socialists for Obama

    I'll agree the " GOP" brand or the "republican" brand is not in vogue.

    However, Conservatism has never gone out of style. Conservatism wins every time it's tried. Problem is, too many elected Republicans are simply not Conservatives and the media does a great hatchet job of lumping us all in together.

    Calling all Conservatives "republicans" is like calling all Democrats "liberals." It's simply not true, and besides, when did the media ever care about truth?

    August 18, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  25. Tired of W, OH

    Just watch. They'll try to say to spin this to their advantage.

    "We'd rather save the taxpayers' money than fly to a convention."
    "McCain doesn't need to be surrounded by his supporters. That's just for them Hollywood celebrities. We're regular folk."

    You heard it here first.

    August 18, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
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