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. Typical White Person

    That will save the GOP some money, then, won't it? Maybe they can buy an ad to highlight Obama's ties to the congressional leadership with a lower approval rating than Bush.

    August 18, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. Peter (CA)

    What does this say about the state of Republicans this year?

    Hopefully, there will be some big changes in Congress so the partisan bickering can be put aside and some work can get done.

    August 18, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  3. Fed up with the lies

    I wouldn't worry about Sen. Smith from Oregon being re elected. When asked about the state of affairs in Georgia; his opponent thought they were talking about the state of Georgia. Then he tried to cover up his ignorance by stating he'd been so busy campaigning, he hadn't heard about it. It doesn't say much about his chosen staff when they can't make sure their candidate is kept informed about what's going on in the world. And it says tons when a guy that wants to become a United States Senator isn't aware of the biggest event in the world next to the Olympics.

    Sen. Smith might be in the minority when congress convenes after November, but he'll be back at work in Washington DC for the good folks of Oregon.

    Obama '08
    Smith '08

    August 18, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  4. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Republicans are looking at 2012 election and that should be a good message to all Democrats to unite behind Obama and his VP pick.

    August 18, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  5. Lesley

    He's way behind Obama in fundraising and practically no one is going to attend the Repub convention. I'd like to know how the polls are reached showing this very close race. It looks to me like the polls in November will show Obama way ahead.

    August 18, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  6. Denise

    I'm any of them will attend. Have they no shame? Are they that out of touch? YES!!!!

    August 18, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  7. Wake up America

    They are more than welcome to come to the Democratic convention


    August 18, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  8. David in Dallas

    If even Republicans aren't backing their candidate, maybe the independents and Hillary supporters who are thinking about voting for McCain should rethink their position.

    McCain just wants to perpetuate Bush's policies. And when push comes to shove, how many people actually want that?

    Hillary certainly doesn't want that. Not even many Republicans want that.

    August 18, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  9. Democrats Unite & Vote Big

    Republicans are so ashamed of their own – It's a daily sweep up under the rug. I think there will be more prostestors outside the venue than inside supporting.

    August 18, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |

    Sometimes You get the feeling that the grand Klan party win soon begin.

    August 18, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. Ian

    What a sad party the Republicans have become.

    August 18, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  12. Ian

    Not much to celebrate at that party.

    August 18, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  13. starfire426

    Well, well, well...this is certainly a far cry from the '00 and '04 Repub conventions. Looks like they can't seem to even give tickets away to this disaster-waiting-to-happen.

    August 18, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  14. Crush Rush

    Rush will retire when the "Fairness Doctrine" is enforced.He cant handle the TRUTH or competition.

    August 18, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  15. Obama Supporter VA


    August 18, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  16. Yeah Right!!

    If only staying away meant they weren't in lock step with the repugnican views then we could be happy, but we know this is only to pander to the naive..

    More American jobs overseas
    ExxonMobile/McCain 08

    August 18, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |


    makes you think

    August 18, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  18. Bush or Bust

    Are you kidding me. What a bunch of wusses! Stand by your man, or in this case men. You stood by GW in 2000, and 2004, now it's time to stand by him again.

    George Bush/McCain 2008

    Whoohoooo!!! Don't be wimps.

    August 18, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  19. karen

    Mcshame is stupid and stubborn that why so many repub. can't stand him.

    August 18, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  20. Bush or Bust I

    Bush for re-election.


    August 18, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  21. Michael Templer

    for all the supposed problems the Democrats and Obama is suppose to have. At some point the Republicans have to face the music that while McCain has a puncher's chance with his name brand

    they are finished in Congress

    all they will have is 40+ senators for closure votes

    August 18, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  22. BGIV in NC

    Well, GW ran me out of the GOP – Hard to belong to a party that has become a faint image of what it once was.

    August 18, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  23. McCain's America

    Torture now, torture tomorrow, torture forever!!!

    Stand by your man Republicans, you wusses.

    GOP/ Torture Tyrants

    McBush 08

    August 18, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. al phillips

    SIGNS of the times

    August 18, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  25. Danel

    Remember Mr. George Galloway the British MP that Coleman investigated at one time? Nothing came out of it.. one thing for sure Mr. Galloway made a mockery of Mr. Coleman that was priceless!!

    August 18, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
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