Romney, Murkowski and Collins not to attend GOP convention
Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have each said that they will not be attending next month’s GOP convention in Florida, reports The Hill. Each has had a rocky relationship with the GOP, often breaking with the party over critical votes like health care.
“An aide for Collins noted that she was never planning to attend the GOP convention because she does not go when she herself is up for reelection,” says The Hill. “Collins is in a tight race this year that could be pivotal in determining who holds the Senate majority in the next Congress.”
In 2008, Collins did not attend the GOP’s convention in Minneapolis that saw Republican presidential nominee John McCain pick Sarah Palin as the vice-presidential nominee for the GOP.
Also not attending in 2008 were Sens. Gordon Smith of Oregon, Ted Stevens of Alaska, Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, and Norm Coleman of Minnesota, all of whom were running for re-election. Only Collins was successfully re-elected.
The three AWOL Senators join Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander and Iowa’s Chuck Grassley who have announced they will not be attending the GOP convention. Alexander is not running for re-election and Grassley is 86 years old. Both have to weigh the possibility of contact with someone infected with the coronavirus.
In 2008, the major issue for Republican senators wishing to avoid the convention in Minneapolis was John McCain’s commitment to the continued, vigorous prosecution of the Iraq War.
Today, the issue for many in the GOP is the effect the coronavirus might have on an indoor assembly. President Trump has said that the GOP will have to be flexible in its plans.
“We went to Florida, and when we went, when we signed a few weeks ago, it looked good, and now all of a sudden it’s spiking up a little bit and that’s going to go down. It really depends on the timing. Look, we’re very flexible, we could do a lot of things, but we’re very flexible,” Trump told Greta Van Susteren earlier this week.
The Hill says that neither Romney nor Murkowski’s offices have indicated whether the decision not to attend the convention in Florida is politically motivated or COVID-related.
Romney, who previously ran unsuccessfully for president, is a famous Never-Trumper, who has hinted that he will not be voting for Trump in the fall.
Romney has seen his star fade out as polls show that GOP voters in Utah strongly support President Trump and give Romney weak marks for job performance.
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