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. Observer

    OK, so who WILL be at the Republican convention? I think we're up to 10 Republican senators who won't be there. Talk about a party disrupted! Maybe they should wear masks to hide their identities while they're there, or maybe do a secret mail-in convention instead.
    Bad year for the Republican party!

    August 18, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  2. Hawk Texas


    August 18, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. David

    You can run Norm, but you cannot hide.

    August 18, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  4. Chris, NJ

    "'The colleagues who don't come are staying at home only because they have tough races,' the embattled senator told Minnesota Public Radio."

    do you guys just refuse to read or are you not able to?

    August 18, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  5. Danielle, TX

    I'm shocked!!!!

    August 18, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. thomas

    Does anyone think it strange that the GOP candidates facing tough elections would shun the convention when it is THE political event? This is the place to be seen and heard by the most beople. Is running away really the best way for them to show their strength and leadership?

    August 18, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  7. rhoward

    The politicians skipping the Repulican convention are only looking out for their hides. The National Republican Party told all of the people facing re-election to disavow the party if it would get them re-elected and they are. Simple as that.

    August 18, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  8. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Republican Congresspersons running for cover.
    If they had done their jobs in the 1st place, this wouldn't be happening.

    2008 – The Year We Oust All incumbents We Can!

    August 18, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  9. Nimi from NY

    I thought the Republicans were energized on sturday for their staged debate of non debatable issues. And there are still people who are staying away from their party's party. What happened to joining on the hip of the commander in chief of catastrophy? The man who answers questins before they are asked which the bible says is folly. Proverbs 18:13 says he who answers before listening-that is folly and shame.

    August 18, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  10. EDW

    All the lying and cheating of the Bush administration has caught up with them.

    Dems '08

    August 18, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  11. Crush Rush

    run,rabbits run.

    August 18, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. Reality Check Richmond Virginia

    maybe they should just book an outhouse instead............would be fitting, in more ways than one.

    August 18, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  13. 18,000,000 plus the disenfranchised

    CNN stopping the bogs so it looks as if no one is interested in Republicans. Is there no end to your tyrrany?

    August 18, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  14. McWIKI


    I can get you front row seats at the GOP funeral.

    August 18, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  15. feeble minded people for McCain.


    August 18, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  16. Anonymous


    August 18, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |

    I wonder why so many republicans won't attend the convention????

    August 18, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  18. Ex-Repub Baptist for Obama / Biden

    GOPers are all for "everyone on his/her own."

    i don't know why they need a party, in the first place.

    August 18, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  19. BV

    Now that's no way to spread excitement. Well, McCain will just have to surge on with out them. Poor fellow.

    August 18, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  20. John McShame, Obama Is Going to Tax You & Cindy, but Not Me & 95% Americans Making < $250,000/Yr

    they not only be skipping convention, but should withdraw their names from re-election, ...if they are not proud of what their party have done to americans for the last eight years, they should resign and stop trying to continue to impose their failed policies on all of us....just like mcshame is doing! – starting another war with Russia!

    If it's okay for USA to attack Iraq, why would Putin/Russia feel any different to attack Georgia for it's OIL!!!!!

    August 18, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  21. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Another Reptilican defector! This party is going to be a smelly, steaming pile of elephant entrails....

    August 18, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  22. Marie

    I wouldn't want to attend a RNC convention that will go down in history as one of the nations most negative convention represented by the most divisive bigoted party ever. A platform bases on 'Be afraid of The Exotic Guy'. Sick and sickening.

    August 18, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  23. jerry rubin, Whitefish Bay, WI

    Do not think the TV will be covering much of the GOP convention this time around! Especially since GWB and DC are speaking on Labor Day.

    August 18, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  24. Mary - Dallas

    I've got a 200 square foot storage shed they can use. That should be big enough.

    August 18, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  25. Alan

    Although some Republican senators won't be in attendance, we Minnesotans certainly hope members of CNN's news team will be here to learn geography first hand. Tthe convention is being held in Minnesota's capital city, St. Paul, and NOT in Minneapolis.

    August 18, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
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