Former Presidential GOP Candidate, Senator Rand Paul, Confirmed Tuesday that he will not be attending the RNC Convention, citing his Senate reelection campaign as reasons for skipping the event. Paul assures that it has nothing to do with Donald Trump, but he certainly is not the only one who has other plans that day.
According to LifeZette , Paul stated on The Laura Ingraham Show,
I’ve got a race going on in Kentucky. I’m up for election in November, so I’ve got events scheduled for the next six weeks doing town halls around Kentucky. I’ve done 55 town halls so far, and I plan on trying to get another 50 town halls in the next six weeks.
Although Paul states that his absence has little to do with Trump’s statements, Forbes reports that the GOP Convention is “going to be light on Senate muscle” overall, next week.
Out of 54 Republican Senators, 16 had already announced that they won’t be attending the convention, making the Kentucky Senator number 17.
Some of the Senators who will be taking a pass on the convention are Seantors Roy Blount of Missouri and Ben Sasse of Nebraska, along with 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain.
Former Trump rivals Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham will also not be in attendance.
Talking Points Memo curated a list of those who will not attend, noting a good portion of them are seeking reelection. TPM also indicated that “senators up for reelection are not the only ones who have said they will forgo the formal coronation of Donald Trump.” Some, like Sen. Ben Sasse offered some entertaining explanations.
“Sen. Sasse will not be attending the convention and will instead take his kids to watch some dumpster fires across the state, all of which enjoy more popularity than the current front-runners,” a spokesman for Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) told reporters.
And, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) who was personally attacked by Trump during a meeting with senators near Capitol Hill last week, announced he had some important household chores to attend to. “I’ve got to mow my lawn,” Flake told the Associated Press.
Sen. Paul was a bit more austere. When asked if he was staying home because he didn’t want to support Trump, he reaffirmed his campaign as the reason for not attending.
LifeZette Editor-in-Chief Laura Ingraham joked that she could get him and other Republican holdouts over Trump to the RNC on a private jet if it would help.
Ya, I think it’s really my election and I’ve got to run my race and be there, and the problem with being in Washington so much is that it occupies so much time that, you know, you really do need time to be at home, to travel around to all the different cities and to meet with folks. And so, no, it’s just a matter of needing enough time to be at home.
TPM noted that Democrats have also skipped conventions before. In 2012, when President Barack Obama was up for re-election, four Democrats skipped the Charlotte convention to campaign back home. However, this year’s numbers of those who have declined in the Republican party are significantly higher.
During Ingraham’s interview with Paul, the senator made an attempt to draw some hope from a seemingly dismal election, stating some of Trump’s positions could reach out to the Republican base enough to defeat Hillary Clinton in November.
I think there are many things that Trump is talking about as far as trying to restore our country, as far as trying to lower taxes on business, as far as trying to lower the regulatory burden, and really frankly his discussion that the Iraq War was a mistake are a new kind of vision that has a chance of sort of bringing together a coalition that can win…