These People Are Skipping The RNC

by Lauren Barbato

The Republican National Convention kicks off July 18 in Cleveland, and it seems like no one's excited about it. Now that Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, many high-ranking members of the GOP establishment are Googling "how to move to Canada" with the rest of us. Trump's presumptive nomination has triggered an implosion within the Republican Party, which, really, should be more of a reason to attend the convention than ditch it. But who's not going to the Republican National Convention this year? Let's see who said "nah" to Cleveland.

Just a few days ago, the office of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio announced that he won't be flying to LeBron James' city this month. The one-time GOP candidate was defeated by Trump earlier this year.

Although Rubio has been visibly disturbed by the reality of a Trump nomination — in March, he told The Guardian that Trump was an "embarrassment" who would lead the Republican Party into "wilderness" — his statement about skipping the RNC did not mention Trump at all.

The statement released by Rubio spokesperson Olivia Perez-Cubas said: "Florida has always been a competitive state and it will be this fall. Marco had planned to go to the convention before he decided to seek re-election. Since Marco got into the race late, he will be in Florida campaigning and meeting with voters instead of going to Ohio."

Sure, Rubio. We totally believe that.

John Sommers II/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Who else is staying clear of Cleveland on July 18? Well, the two most recent Republican presidents: George W. Bush and his father, George H.W. Bush. It was reported in May that both Bush presidents had no intention of backing Trump. Their lack of attendance at the RNC may not be so surprising, though: Neither George H.W. Bush or George W. Bush attended the 2012 convention.

In an unprecedented move, most former GOP presidential nominees are also skipping the RNC. Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP nominee, has made it very, very clear over the past few months that he is not supporting Trump. Meanwhile, Sen. Jon McCain of Arizona, who ran against President Obama in 2008, plans on remaining in Arizona to campaign for his re-election.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who hung in the race until May, also won't be attending the convention. Kasich has been very outspoken about his former adversary, and has said he would never endorse Trump. Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida who was once considered the leading GOP candidate, and New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte will join Kasich in the "I've got better things to do" camp.

So, who is going to be waving little American flags among wild Trump supporters in Cleveland? Sen. Ted Cruz and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will be in attendance, so it's sure to be a party.