Notable Republicans to skip GOP convention

8:29 PM, Jul 31, 2012   |    comments
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Former Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush who have also stated they will skip this year's nominating convention.



Tampa, Florida -- While 50,000 people are expected to come to the Bay area the 2012 Republican National Convention, a number of high profile conservatives say they'll skip the historic event.

The latest to say he will not be coming is Dick Cheney. The former Vice President says he's going fishing instead.

Cheney's announcement follows former Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush who have also stated they will skip this year's nominating convention.

Tampa Bay Host Committee CEO Ken Jones insists the absence of some well known Republicans won't take any luster off this year's convention.

"I'm not worried about people coming or not coming, our job is to make sure Tampa Bay shines and looks really good during the convention," Jones told 10 News on Tuesday.

"I think what's key here is all the folks that will be here during the August event and they'll be here to nominate Mitt Romney and to take part in the process," added Republican National Convention spokesperson James Davis.

10 News has learned former Vice President Dan Quayle may also skip the convention while Sarah Palin has said she will announce this week if she is coming to Tampa.

University of South Florida Prof. of Political Science Dr. Susan MacManus say the reasons for someone skipping a party's convention can range from poor health to being concerned about being a liability. MacManus says the latter may be the case with George W. Bush.  

Some are also skipping this year's convention out of protest, such as Jon Huntsman. The former presidential hopeful issued a statement saying, "I will not be attending this year's convention, nor any Republican convention in the future, until the party focuses on a bigger, bolder, more confident future for the United States."

While others like Congressman Joe Walsh are more worried about their own re-election and have opted to skip the convention.

Walsh, a U.S. Representative from Illinois said, "Rather than mingle with Party insiders in Tampa, I will be in the 8th district to continue to serve as an independent voice for the people."

But experts note former presidents skipping the GOP convention is nothing new. In 2004, for example, Gerald Ford skipped the Republican National Convention due to failing health.

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