The Republican National Convention kicks off in Cleveland Monday. Rolling Stone is there, but a number of high-profile Republican Congress members, governors and even former presidents are skipping the proceedings.
Many of these politicians are up for reelection in states and districts where presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump is deeply unpopular. Others, like Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, just really have to mow their lawns this week, OK?
Here are some of the excuses Republicans have given for staying away — in some cases far, far away — from Cleveland this week.
1. Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse “will instead take his kids to watch some dumpster fires across the state, all of which enjoy more popularity than the current front-runners.”
2. Florida Rep. Mario Diaz tells Politico he’ll be getting his hair done.
3. Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake: “I’ve got to mow my lawn.”
4. California Rep. Duncan Hunter: “I have other stuff to do.”
5. California Rep. Steve Knight: “I have a choice of being in Ohio in July or Southern California. I’ll be in Southern California.”
7. Montana Sen. Steve Daines: “I’ll have my fly rod in my hand with my wife in Montana.”
8. Nevada Sen. Dean Heller “might use the coming week to irrigate his ranch.”
9. South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy is taking his family to the beach.
10. Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz will be abroad with a congressional delegation; his spokeswoman would not confirm the exact location of the international trip, citing “ISIS.”
11. Former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean: “I don’t want to go and say something that would embarrass our governor [Chris Christie] so I’ll just stay home.”
12. Former President George H.W. Bush “will be in Kennebunkport.”
13. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham: “I can watch it on TV.”
14. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is recovering from second- and third-degree burns. (Abbott really was severely burned in an accident recently. He had previously planned to attend the convention.)
15. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski “will be traveling by small plane and boat along the Yukon River in western Alaska to meet with Alaskans.”
16. Alabama Rep. Bradley Byrne will be attending naval exercises in the Pacific Ocean.
17. California Rep. Paul Cook: “I’m not a big convention person. It’s a long way across country and everything. Normally when we have any types of breaks, I’ve got to tell you: the first priority is the grandkids.”
18. California Rep. Doug LaMalfa: “I don’t think I’m needed there. There’s a lot of people anxious and hot to go and be delegates, so have at it.”
19. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush “will be at home in Miami, working.”
20. Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson: “Just as they’re firming up the schedule, it kind of looks like there’s a lot of stuff for me to do.”
21. Utah Rep. Mia Love: “I don’t see any upsides to it…. I don’t see how this benefits the state.” She’ll spend much of the week in Israel instead.
22. Former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal: “I’m not boycotting it, I’m not deliberately not going because of Donald Trump, but right now there’s not a point for me to go. If there were a point, I would certainly consider going, but I’m not staying away because of a boycott or to express any discontent. Right now there’s simply no point for me to go.”
23. Iowa Rep. David Young: “Home is where I want to be. It’s a lot better than going to Cleveland. Nothing against Cleveland, personally, but I want to be home.”
24. Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran will be touring Kansas libraries, courthouses and pharmacies.
25. Colorado Rep. Scott Tipton will be talking to constituents in Craig and Grand Junction about opioid addiction.
26. Arizona Sen. John McCain: “I have to campaign for reelection.”
27. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio “will be in Florida campaigning and meeting with voters.”