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
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
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.