GOP leaders may skip Republican convention

The presidential race in the Republican party has become so vitriolic that some top party members are planning on skipping the Cleveland convention.

Most are politicians involved in tight re-election contests.  But some prominent Republicans are refusing to go based on the fear that things are likely to get out of hand.

The Hill:

Among the biggest names considering skipping are former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — a former presidential candidate — and Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.), both of who are up for reelection this fall.
 
Some of those who are considering skipping the convention are instead focusing on campaigning at home, the report said. Others don't want to be tied too closely to a potentially messy presidential nomination fight.
Bush told CNN he doesn't plan to attend the convention, and Ayotte said it was "unlikely" she'd be in Cleveland.

"I've got a lot of work to do in New Hampshire, I have my own re-election and I'm going to be focusing on my voters in New Hampshire," she said.
 
Burr echoed Ayotte's sentiments.

"I'm up for re-election," he said. "I'm more valuable outside of Cleveland than inside of Cleveland."

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), a co-founder of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said he talked to about 20 other conservatives, and about half have chosen not to attend the convention. He said activists and people should decide the nominee — not politicians.

"I've decided not to go to Cleveland," Mulvaney said. "I'm going to stay home and work."

A senior House Republican leadership aide told CNN that if someone is "in a competitive district," it's "smart" not to attend the convention.

"It's always been about fighting Washington and making sure it's local," the House Republican leadership aide told CNN. He said those people will "stay home and do the same thing they've been doing for last year and a half — not being a part of whatever chaos comes out of Cleveland."
 
A Senate leadership aide said he doesn't see "any reason for a candidate to go to any convention, unless it's in their home state."
 
"Their time is better spent at home talking to voters," he said.
 
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), however, said he'll likely be at the convention and doesn't expect voters will be "surprised" by his decision.
 
"I probably will go to the convention. I've gone to past conventions; I don't think the voters will be surprised that I attended the Republican convention," he said.

What makes this laughable is that these candidates actually think voters will somehow forget they are Republicans.  It hardly matters whether their faces show up on coverage of the convention.  Their Democratic opponents will make sure voters are reminded what party the incumbent belongs to and who is heading up the party ticket.

Many GOP incumbents believe that if Trump is the party standard bearer, their campaigns will be inundated by left-wing protesters.  This is a distinct possibility, given the left's penchant to deny their opponents the right of free speech.  But not attending the convention won't save them from the demonstrators any more than it will save them at the ballot box.

The presidential race in the Republican party has become so vitriolic that some top party members are planning on skipping the Cleveland convention.

Most are politicians involved in tight re-election contests.  But some prominent Republicans are refusing to go based on the fear that things are likely to get out of hand.

The Hill:

Among the biggest names considering skipping are former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — a former presidential candidate — and Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.), both of who are up for reelection this fall.
 
Some of those who are considering skipping the convention are instead focusing on campaigning at home, the report said. Others don't want to be tied too closely to a potentially messy presidential nomination fight.
Bush told CNN he doesn't plan to attend the convention, and Ayotte said it was "unlikely" she'd be in Cleveland.

"I've got a lot of work to do in New Hampshire, I have my own re-election and I'm going to be focusing on my voters in New Hampshire," she said.
 
Burr echoed Ayotte's sentiments.

"I'm up for re-election," he said. "I'm more valuable outside of Cleveland than inside of Cleveland."

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), a co-founder of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said he talked to about 20 other conservatives, and about half have chosen not to attend the convention. He said activists and people should decide the nominee — not politicians.

"I've decided not to go to Cleveland," Mulvaney said. "I'm going to stay home and work."

A senior House Republican leadership aide told CNN that if someone is "in a competitive district," it's "smart" not to attend the convention.

"It's always been about fighting Washington and making sure it's local," the House Republican leadership aide told CNN. He said those people will "stay home and do the same thing they've been doing for last year and a half — not being a part of whatever chaos comes out of Cleveland."
 
A Senate leadership aide said he doesn't see "any reason for a candidate to go to any convention, unless it's in their home state."
 
"Their time is better spent at home talking to voters," he said.
 
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), however, said he'll likely be at the convention and doesn't expect voters will be "surprised" by his decision.
 
"I probably will go to the convention. I've gone to past conventions; I don't think the voters will be surprised that I attended the Republican convention," he said.

What makes this laughable is that these candidates actually think voters will somehow forget they are Republicans.  It hardly matters whether their faces show up on coverage of the convention.  Their Democratic opponents will make sure voters are reminded what party the incumbent belongs to and who is heading up the party ticket.

Many GOP incumbents believe that if Trump is the party standard bearer, their campaigns will be inundated by left-wing protesters.  This is a distinct possibility, given the left's penchant to deny their opponents the right of free speech.  But not attending the convention won't save them from the demonstrators any more than it will save them at the ballot box.