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. Montana is Obama Country

    See what happens when you invite Cheney and Bush..

    Nobody's coming..

    I wouldn't go even if they paid me TO go..!!

    August 18, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. Jeffer65

    Where are these poll-takers anyway? No one has ever asked me about my vote.

    August 18, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  3. Ex-Republican for Obama

    It must suck to hate yourself that much. That's like a birthday party where the guest of honor is too ashamed to take part.

    Can't say I blame them though, the GOP truely has gone rotten and I too am proud to say I left the deceptive, unpatriotic criminals. I will no longer allow myself to be tarnished by the systematic unravelling of the american constitution, global respect, moral values and economic stability.

    Obama '08

    August 18, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  4. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Republicans are realizing that they have a tough battle for their seats and re-elections. It is not going to be a good year for Republicans.......McCain is on his own.........and so are they.

    August 18, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  5. RonG

    Does anyone know approximately how much T. Bone Pickens made by swift-boating Bush back into the White House in '04? Gotta be a few mill?

    August 18, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |


    August 18, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  7. Bulldog

    Democrats need to go to the Republic Convention and pose as Ron Paul supporters just like they are doing at the Democratin Convention posing as radical Hillary Supporters. Republicans would rather attack there opponents than support there own canidate. What a bunch of gutter trash cynics.

    August 18, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  8. RCH, St. Paul, MN

    Since Coleman is our own local 'Bush Boy,' we're really looking forward to getting rid of him this year. His comment would be more aptly put as: "The colleagues who don't come are staying at home only because they're too busy doing damage control, spin doctoring, expressing (more) blatant falsehoods and have realized that the American people now know that the Republican brand is as honest and honorable as a wooden nickel."

    Obama '08! / NO GOP!

    August 18, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  9. Penny

    As someone who works in downtown St. Paul, having fewer people attend the convention is fine by me! Although I will be dealing with Back to School, it would be nice to be able to keep this economy going and actually work. Gee, I wonder if our governor, Tim Pawlenty, thought of that when he lobbied for this less-than-prime event. Having people work would actually help our state actually get back into fiscal shape – as it would every single state in the US.

    The fact that "Stormin' Norman" announced he wouldn't go, unless he had to, should tell you something. Republicans are in a lot of trouble this year...

    August 18, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  10. Cynthia

    If I were running for election or re-election and were a Republican I would stay away as well.

    August 18, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  11. Henry Maxwell

    Hmm.President Bush has a 28% approval rating .The GOP has gone 0-3 in special elections and the smell of corruption is everywhere from Alaska to Georgia. If I were an incumbent I wouldn't attend either -especially with a member of The Keating Five leading the ticket.

    August 18, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  12. RealityKing

    We are expecting to see lots and lots of celebrities attending for Obama. And a few token chosen peasants..., for show.

    August 18, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  13. Republican values

    Does anyone notice that John McCain avoids saying that he accepts Christ in his life as his savior? A true Christian/anyone of faith would never have a problem saying what he believes if asked in public.

    It doesn't matter what religion you belong to, but when a person hides their religion, they are actually rejecting it, and may even be ashamed.

    No wonder any God-fearing Republican is reticent about McCain. I hope the convention will bring back the ideals of family values.

    August 18, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  14. rachae

    i think the polls are really close now because no one is paying attention once the media gets ahold to McCain it will be a different story.

    August 18, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  15. Concerned INDEPENDENT CT voter

    McCain is lowwww lets shine a light on his service in the Navy & forget about his other views and bad temper... lets describe him as happy when he clearly thinks war is the answer to all conflicts. Is this 1950? He believes in jesus as much as leiberman does............. he's a joke... Shame on him for using Christians to win a political fight. he has their vote in the bag since he is pro-life & hates gays....



    August 18, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  16. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It is a bad time to be a Republican. If Coleman wouldn't attend if it were farther away, that has to say something. Who'd thought that Franken could be giving this guy some major worries?

    August 18, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  17. Chad

    Hey Mooney

    The Republican National Convention is not in Minneapolis. It's in St. Paul. Get with the program!!!

    August 18, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  18. Elizabeth

    The biggest rat is running.

    August 18, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  19. Marie-Lynn

    He just understand how diffucult it will be to watch and ear McCain.. He is too gentle to tell him directly what many gops think

    August 18, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. Linda from Prescott AZ

    Looks like they are all running away from McCain.

    August 18, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  21. Game Changer

    ...and the cheese stands alone! If I were McCain my feelings would be hurt.

    August 18, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  22. Joan, NY

    "McCain spokeperson Nicolle Wallace, a former CBS News consultant, told the Times last night that "[t]he insinuation from the Obama campaign that John McCain, a former prisoner of war, cheated is outrageous."

    Okay, so having an affair (cheating) and leaving your wife and kids don't really matter. That's not outrageous?

    Obama 08

    August 18, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  23. BJGT

    You reap what you sow!

    August 18, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  24. will

    like anonymous, quadrennial. you're the writer.

    August 18, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  25. Typical White Person

    Lesley August 18th, 2008 1:30 pm ET wrote:

    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.

    That's easy – the people they are polling didn't get paid for their votes nor are they worried about attending a party in Denver. They are worried about the far-left liberal record of Obama and concerned about his tolerance of a race-baiting, white-hating, "minister".

    August 18, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
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