Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has publicly stated that he would be boycotting the GOP national convention this summer in Cleveland. Other party bigwigs have also declined to attend the convention. So, just who's skipping the RNC convention in a silent form of protest? A veritable who's-who of the GOP establishment, that's who. These names are definitely going to ring a bell.
Former GOP nominee Senator John McCain has said that he'll be skipping the (likely) chaos of the convention hall. The incumbent senator from Arizona, who took over Barry Goldwater's seat in 1987, will be a month shy of his 80th birthday while the convention is occurring, so it is possible that the veteran senator will want to spend as much time as possible defending his senate seat in Arizona against Democratic congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick and not engaging in the festivities. This decision could potentially generate blowback amongst the Arizona GOP electorate, who favored the reality show star and former slumlord by a heavy margin. If voters feel that McCain isn't one of them, it could cost him his seat in the Senate. He did come out for Trump on May 5, but couched his support, claiming that he was following the will of his constituents.
Former presidents Bush the Elder and Bush the Lesser have also declined to be in attendance in Cleveland, according to POLITICO. This move means that we can probably rule out a run by Bush the Even Less Capable for the GOP nomination, unless that's just what they want the public to think. Stranger things have happened this election cycle, after all.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan will be in attendance, although as of now, he won't be supporting "Tiny Hands" Trump. Part of Ryan's duties at the GOP convention include overseeing the nominating process; he's not going to be playing hooky during the convention. But Trump had some strong words for Ryan if he fails to fall in line behind the wishes of the GOP voting populace.
Without the only living former Republican presidents in attendance, the RNC loses some of its' gravitas. Add to that the lack of nominees from this century, and where an insurgent populist protest candidate is threatening to unseat the Speaker of the House as Convention Chairman, well, this is truly shaping up to be a convention marked by chaos. At least Bob Dole said he'd show up. That's gotta count for something, right?