Politics

McConnell Uncertain About Attending Republican National Convention

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Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday he is uncertain he will attend the Republican National Convention in August, as a number of Republican senators have said they will likely not go.

“It’s a challenging situation and a number of my colleagues announced they are not going to attend. And we’ll have to wait and see how things look in late August to determine whether or not you can safely convene that many people,” McConnell said when asked if he will be attending the convention.

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This comes as there are now six Republican senators who have said they will likely not attend the convention. Republican Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts announced Thursday he will probably not be attending the convention due to scheduled events back home. Republican Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley was the first senator to announce Monday he would not attend the convention, skipping it for the first time in forty years due to concerns of coronavirus.

“Well, I have some things to do in Kansas that I got to do and unfortunately I didn’t know what was canceled and what was not and whatever, and so I will probably not be,” Roberts said when asked if he was going to the convention, according to The Hill.(RELATED: Six Republican Senators Say They Will Likely Not Attend Republican National Convention)

When Grassley was asked why he would not be attending, he cited the coronavirus as his reason.

“I’m not going to go. And I’m not going to go because of the virus situation,” Grassley said Monday on a phone call with reporters, according to the Des Moines Register.

“Going to a place where the governor feels that it’s safer is probably the right thing to do if you want to have a convention,” Grassley continued. “And I think we should have a convention, but I think you should do whatever you can to make it as safe as possible so that would mean with face masks and with social distancing.”

After Grassley’s announcement, Tenessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, Maine Sen. Susan Collins, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and Utah Sen. Mitt Romney said they would likely not be attending either. (RELATED: Chuck Grassley To Skip Republican National Convention For First Time In 40 Years Due To ‘Virus Situation’)

Only Grassley cited coronavirus as a reason for not attending. Alexander said he wanted someone else to be a delegate and Collins’ office said she does not attend conventions when she is up for reelection, The Hill reported.

The convention is scheduled to take place from Aug. 24 to Aug. 27. Around 40,000 people are expected to be in attendance.