Donald Trump’s Convention To Get Skipped By GOP Governors And Senators — ‘I Can Watch It On TV,’ One Tells ‘New York Times’
A growing number of Republicans will not be going to the Donald Trump-led Republican National Convention in July, a sign that many in the GOP are nervous about the effect the former reality TV star will have on their bids for re-election, the New York Times is reporting.
Two of them are Trump’s former opponents for the presidential nomination, former Florida governor Jeb Bush and South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham.
“I’m sure it will be fun, I’m sure it will be entertaining,” Graham said. “And I can watch it on TV.”
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Even though the absences of Bush and Graham are nothing new, others, including Kentucky senator Rand Paul — who is also a convention delegate — are uncommitted.
Gov Nikki Haley invited to lead SC delegation to Republican National Convention. Lindsey Graham won't be going. https://t.co/9kIAZsdURp
— schuyler kropf (@skropf47) June 1, 2016
Trump also has icy relations with Susana Martinez, who is both governor of New Mexico and the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, and House Speaker Paul Ryan, who has said he is not yet ready to endorse Trump even after a high-profile meeting and has said that he is willing to step aside from moderating the convention if Trump requests it, the Times said.
As the Inquisitr reported on Monday, Donald Trump publicly criticized Martinez after she declined to participate at his rally in New Mexico.
Some major corporations, including Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and Hewlett-Packard, also will not be attending, according to the Times.
Among the other high-profile Republican governors the Times listed as noncommittal or not attending the convention in Cleveland are Rick Snyder of Michigan, Brian Sandoval of Nevada, Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Larry Hogan of Maryland, Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Matt Mead of Wyoming, and Nathan Deal of Georgia.
“I don’t even want to be involved,” Hogan said in March.
John Kasich Not Ready to Ride the Trump Train – Remember Ohio Governor and son-of-a-mailman, John Kasich? In ca… https://t.co/ekzeNaf27F
— RedState (@RedState) May 25, 2016
But perhaps the most surprising name to appear as uncommitted is John Kasich — whose state of Ohio is hosting the convention.
“Scheduling conflicts seem to be a surprisingly common excuse for missing an event that was announced a year and a half ago,” the Times reported. “Others offered mushy noncommitments.”
But another issue is that some have tough re-election battles — this was the most cited reason for senators to announce that they would not be at the convention in Cleveland to see Donald Trump get nominated in person.
Among the senators not attending will be John McCain of Arizona, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Mark Kirk of Illinois, and Rob Portman of Ohio (who plans on “holding a mini-convention of his own in Cleveland,” according to the Times).
“This mass avoidance might seem, on its surface, to be yet another example of the party elite snubbing Mr. Trump in the kind of rejection that he would welcome as a professed political outsider,” the Times said.
“But it also reflects a deeper and more dangerous problem for him: Mr. Trump’s popularity with Republicans remains uncomfortably low.”
In 2012, 93 percent of Republicans voted for nominee Mitt Romney, and he still lost the general election to President Barack Obama, 52-47 percent. According to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, only 86 percent of Republican currently support Trump.
Two other Republican delegates, former senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and Josh Claybourn of Indiana, opted to resign their posts and not attend the convention.
“Don’t like large crowds,” Gregg told a radio station.
“Donald J. Trump is the Republican Party’s nominee,” Claybourn told the Times. “But he will not be my nominee and I will not attend a convention celebrating his candidacy.”
What do you think? Is it a problem that so many Republicans will not attend their own convention? Can Donald Trump unite the Republican Party?
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]