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. Phil in KC

    Poor Norm. He's hosting the convention so he has to attend while Franken makes hay over it. Bye bye Norm. Hello Al.

    August 18, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. dave in RI

    the convention is in this guy's own backyard and he doesn't WANT to go, he HAS to go. I wonder if the reason why so many are skipping, will be this years October surprise

    August 18, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  3. Cindy, Georgia

    Maybe they don't want the taint of the Warmonger on their campaigns?

    August 18, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. Walsh

    Maybe they're not attending because CNN is telling them that it's in Minneapolis when in fact it's in St Paul.

    August 18, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  5. Sherry, Atlanta


    August 18, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  6. ElPaso, TX

    cut 'n run

    August 18, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  7. Turn Florida blue in 2008

    I don't blame them. Who would want to sit there and watch how many different ways they can spin McCain's hallmark "I was a POW, I deserve to be president because it's my destiny," mantra. That's all he is and that's all it will be.

    They've been thumping their chests like big macho men for the past eight years and look where it's gotten them.

    Hopefully the American electorate won't forget it.

    August 18, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. Thomas, Illinois

    Must be hell trying to figure out how much kool-aid to make...Sounds like to me, a couple of gallons will do....

    August 18, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. al



    August 18, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. Michael

    4 Libs and none have the ability to read. LOL

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

    August 18, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  11. bert

    I am a life long republican and I will be voting for Obama this election I understand why the republicans that are vying for reelection will be staying away from the convention this election cycle. I will be switching to independent after this cycle because the republicans are moving away from taking us into the future and getting our respect back in the sight of the world. Please do the right thing with me, vote with your heart and vote for Obama. You can see it as clearly as I do. Let go of ego and bote for athe best guy for the job.

    August 18, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  12. todd

    If the republicans have a convention and no one's there to hear it, did it make any sound?

    August 18, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. Tejano

    The main reason Republican elected officials are skipping the Convention is because we already have a great candidate in John S.
    McCain and there is no reason to show up just for a celebration of victory. The Democrats on the other hand need all the elected officals to show up and prop up thier leftist candidate.
    Demos are making a big mistake in not considering Hillary as a VP.
    This will make it easier for the RIGHT party to win and the other
    WRIGHT party to lose.

    August 18, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  14. Kelby from Houston, TX

    You want to know why so republicans are skipping the GOP convention? I will tell you why. The party is TAINTED and they can't wash off the stink of failure and corruption. No, that only comes of with years of time and nobody looking at you.
    Republicans are to blame for everything that's going wrong in this country they just refuse to admit it. The government has been operating under their controls and their policies and they have been exposed as either incompetent, short sighted or just plane corrupt with no redeeming qualities what so ever. Even the "do nothing congress' has been plagued by problems from the GOP in the Senate and THE WORST PRESIDENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA's veto.
    They are the problem. They know it. We know it.

    August 18, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  15. Clint, Kentucky

    Uh, CNN?

    You ran a TIME article yesterday saying Al Franken is in trouble and running behind in his race for Senator. Today, you run an article about Norm Coleman being tempted to skip the convention because he's having trouble in his re-election race.

    You do know that Al Franken and Norm Coleman are running against each other for the Senate seat in Minnesota right?

    How can they both be losing?

    At least one of your stories has to be unfairly slanted–which is it?

    August 18, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  16. Beverly, NYC

    Poor Republicans holding a party that no one wants to attend. Why not hold a hand picked town hall, at your "cabin" announce your VP and call it a day.

    August 18, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |

    Clinton was impeached and HE'S attending the Dems' convention.



    August 18, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  18. Janet L

    OMG! This is incredulous! Not even the Republican leaders want to attend this convention. Please people, WAKE UP, this is the absolute turning point of America as we know it. If the Republic politicians will not attend to stand behind "the little old white haired guy", does that not say something drastic needs to happen? PLEASE, vote for Obama, our only hope for a future for our children and grandchildren. I am so scared for their future, and you all should be too.

    August 18, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  19. John Starnes

    In view of the last catastrophic 8 years created by a Republican president and Republican-controlled Congress, why are they even bothering to offer up McCain at all? Not enough damage done to America yet?

    August 18, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  20. Larry in TX

    Rats leaving a sinking ship.

    August 18, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  21. Beth Kidd

    The convention is in ST. PAUL. What ever else we may think about Senator Coleman, at least he understands that St. Paul is a different city than Minneapolis.

    August 18, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  22. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    They know that it may affect their re-election bids since the GOP did mess up with its over spending, but the democrats have no problem going with an unknown who still has not told America what his idea of chenge really is. Could it be European Socialism as he talked about in his speech in Germany, or is it a welfare state like the City of Chicago is know for as the Nanny State City of Ameica?

    August 18, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  23. Manny

    I see the disclaimer that all posts are reviewed before posting. No wonder I see no conservative rebuttals to liberal goofball posts.

    August 18, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  24. RonG

    how will 'thief' Ted Stevens attend when he will be in jail?

    August 18, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  25. Republican for Obama

    I wonder if McCain will show up?

    August 18, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
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