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Brownback to Endorse McCain

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Vote2008/wireStory?id=3830966 Brownback to Endorse McCain Former Candidate Brownback to Endorse Republican McCain for President
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 7 6:38 AM

      Brownback to Endorse McCain
      Former Candidate Brownback to Endorse Republican
      McCain for President

      The Associated Press
      By LIZ SIDOTI Associated Press Writer
      MANCHESTER, N.H. Nov 7, 2007 (AP)

      Sam Brownback, a Kansas conservative and favorite of
      evangelical Christians, will endorse his former
      Republican presidential rival John McCain, GOP
      officials said Wednesday.

      The nod could provide a much-needed boost,
      particularly in Iowa, for the Arizona senator and
      one-time presumed GOP front-runner whose bid faltered
      and who now is looking for a comeback.

      Republican officials said Brownback will announce his
      support for McCain later Wednesday in Dubuque, Iowa,
      and then travel with the candidate to campaign in two
      other cities in the state. The officials spoke on the
      condition of anonymity to avoid publicly pre-empting
      the announcement.

      It's uncertain how much weight the Brownback's backing
      will carry; the Kansas senator dropped out of the race
      last month with little money and little support. While
      he is a favorite of religious conservatives, he failed
      to persuade them to embrace him as the GOP's consensus
      conservative candidate. He spent months emphasizing
      his rock-solid opposition to abortion, gay marriage
      and other issues important to the party's right flank,
      but left the race ranking low in national polls and
      state surveys.

      Still, Brownback's backing could signal to evangelical
      Christians that they can trust McCain and could help
      solidify McCain's credentials on social issues. The
      endorsement could be especially important in Iowa,
      where McCain trails in polls.

      Despite a solidly conservative Senate voting record on
      social issues, McCain has a rocky history with
      cultural and religious conservatives who make up a
      significant part of the Republican base and have
      proven to be influential in Iowa's GOP caucuses.

      He once likened their leaders to "agents of
      intolerance," but since has taken steps to heal his
      relationship with the voting group. Still, some are
      skeptical that McCain will be a loyal Republican who
      will champion their issues, partly because while his
      record is clear cut, he's not a high-profile crusader
      against abortion rights and gay marriage.

      Other candidates in the crowded GOP field had lobbied
      for Brownback's support over the past few weeks.

      Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and
      Southern Baptist minister who has made strides in Iowa
      in recent weeks, was widely considered the other
      Republican most likely to get Brownback's endorsement.
      It's unclear whether Fred Thompson, the former
      Tennessee senator trying to emerge as the
      conservatives' choice, ever got a look from Brownback.

      Brownback did, however, talk with Rudy Giuliani, a
      backer of abortion rights and gay rights, and emerged
      from the meeting with kind words about the former New
      York mayor. Yet, days earlier, Brownback told
      reporters he saw no way in which the GOP would
      nominate a "pro-choice" Republican. It's doubtful that
      Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who
      reversed course on abortion, was ever in the running.
      Brownback spent months this summer bitterly
      criticizing Romney's shifts on social issues.
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