Donald Trump's big acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention is sure to be a hot ticket for many: immediate members of the Trump family, rubberneckers, fans of confused oratory.
But for rank-and-file Republicans, the RNC isn't so appealing. In fact, many GOP-ers are summoning bizarre, often hilarious excuses for not being able to attend their own party's coronation of Trump, or even to stand in the same room with him.
Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake has already said that he can't make it because he's mowing his lawn. South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy is taking a family beach vacation. Utah Rep. Mia Love, considered a rising star in the party, isn't attending the convention because she doesn't see how it "benefits the state"; instead, she is visiting Israel, a trip which is somehow more beneficial to Utah than her party's presidential launching pad.
Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, meanwhile, isn't mincing words. "Sen. Sasse will not be attending the convention and will instead take his kids to watch some dumpster fires across the state, all of which enjoy more popularity than the current front-runners," a spokesperson told The Hill.
Neither of the living Republican ex-presidents will be there; Mitt Romney and John McCain are both skipping out, too. Even Tom Brady, whose offseason is longer than usual this year, has declined his good friend Donald Trump's invitation to speak.
Republicans are reaching deep into their GCals to avoid associating with their nominee-to-be. Trump visited with congressional Republicans on Thursday; get a load of the excuses not to attend that meeting, as put together by Politico. Not since my high school prom have so many flimsy rejections been tossed at one man:
Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) told reporters he had “a longstanding appointment downtown.” Another member said he had to be at the doctor’s office and couldn’t make it. A third said he had a “breakfast meeting.” The member — who asked not to be named — then pulled out his schedule for Thursday morning. When he saw that there wasn’t any event on his schedule, the member took out a pen and wrote “Breakfast meeting” on it. “See, I have one!” he joked.
Incredible! The ascendance of Donald Trump has turned a majority of Republican congresspeople into sitcom characters trying to wriggle out of a second date.
We can't be too many days away from a Republican saying, "Hey, what's that behind you?" and then sprinting in the opposite direction when asked about his party's national convention.
The Trump campaign, meanwhile, will likely be forced to rely on leftovers for the convention's four days of speaking slots, reaching out to figures who otherwise might not figure on the national stage.
Given all the breakfast meetings and lawn service appointments that Republicans seem to be committed to, they might also want to start reaching out to seat fillers, too.