From the far-right of the Republican Party to the dead center, the upcoming convention in Cleveland could be most notable for the recognizable faces who won’t be there.
As CNN reported today, Rep. Mick Mulvaney, a co-founder of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, says he and about ten other conservative members have decided not to attend the convention. “I’ve decided not to go to Cleveland,” Mulvaney said. “I’m going to stay home and work.”
With the convention more and more likely looking like a circus, House Republicans, even conservative members of the “establishment,” are being advised to stay at home and hold town hall meetings during the week. “Call it a bunker mentality,” said one staffer.
“Unlikely” is what both GOP Senators Kelly Ayotte and Richard Burr say when asked if they’ll be going. Both face tough reelection campaigns this fall.
Jeb Bush has announced he won’t attend, and there’s a good chance the entire Bush family, including the former president, will stay away. Mitt Romney, the last Republican presidential nominee, isn’t likely to be there either. He’s promised to find another alternative to support if the nominee is Donald Trump.
Senator John McCain, the 2008 nominee, hasn’t committed to attending either. He, too, faces a tough reelection campaign this year.
“I don’t see any reason for any candidate to go to any convention, unless it’s in their home state,” said a Senate GOP leadership aide.