Skip to comments.Brownback to meet Rudy
Posted on 10/24/2007 7:21:42 PM PDT by pissant
Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) is considering endorsing Rudy Giuliani for the GOP presidential nomination and will meet with him Thursday in Washington to hear his views on abortion.
Brownback, who ended his White House run last week and is a champion of social conservative issues, said he would consider Giuliani because he had heard that the former New York City mayor had changed his position on partial-birth abortion and has pledged to appoint to the courts strict constructionists who would not overturn anti-abortion laws.
If Brownback pledged his support, it would be a big boost for Giuliani. It might help shore up the biggest perceived weakness of his candidacy namely, the lack of support among social conservatives because of his stance on abortion.
Im going to meet with him and Im going to talk to him and hear what he is specifically saying now because hes changed on a number of the abortion issues, Brownback said in an interview. Hes changed on partial-birth [abortion] and he has said he would appoint strict constructionists.
When asked about Giulianis position on allowing women the right to late-term abortions, also known as partial-birth abortions, Brownback said: He is opposed to it. Thats what Ive been told indirectly. I want to hear it from him.
Brownback has not indicated that he is likely to support Giuliani, but he has not ruled it out. He said he is also considering endorsing other top-tier Republican candidates. Several have asked for his support in telephone conversations, and Brownback has already met with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to discuss a possible endorsement.
I havent decided who or if and I havent decided when, said Brownback.
Brownbacks advisers, however, predicted that he would make an endorsement within the next few weeks. It would be a huge boon to any candidate because of the impressive ground operation Brownback has built up in Iowa, site of the first contest of the presidential primary.
Ray Hoffmann, the state Republican chairman, said last month that Brownback and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) had assembled the biggest campaign operations in Iowa after Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who is leading the GOP field in statewide polls. One Brownback adviser said that 45,000 Iowans had signed up as campaign supporters.
Giuliani would gain the most from Brownbacks endorsement because he has consistently encountered opposition from social conservatives owing to his views on abortion. He has drawn strong criticism for reiterating in a televised interview earlier this year his position that the federal government should provide funding for an abortion if a woman could not afford one. Giulianis standing atop national polls has scared Christian conservative leaders so much that several prominent leaders threatened last month to support a third-party candidate to block his path to the White House.
Brownbacks support, however, could assuage the concerns of many social conservatives and provide him a path to the Republican nomination.
It would be absolutely huge, said Ross K. Baker, a professor of political science at Rutgers University. It would mean that Giuliani is getting support form a part of the Republican Party that has been hostile to him. Brownback is very well-respected, Baker added. It would give a lot of social conservatives and evangelicals cover if they want to support Giuliani.
Karlyn Bowman, a scholar who specializes in public opinion and politics at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, said a Brownback endorsement would help Giuliani enormously.
If true, that would be an enormous coup for Giuliani, especially given what weve heard about Brownbacks organization in Iowa, she said.
Jay Heine, who until this week was Brownbacks Iowa political director, said he could envision Brownback and many of his supporters backing Giuliani because he is widely considered to have the best chances among Republicans of beating the expected Democratic nominee, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.).
The Republican Partys spirits are pretty low, said Heine, noting landslide Democratic victories in the 2006 election. Were looking at an environment in Iowa where Democrats are really outworking Republicans. I think a lot of people would be open to [the] Giuliani endorsement because they dont want to lose to a Democrat.
Brownbacks former rivals are now scrambling to grab a piece of his campaign infrastructure in Iowa.
Heine said he has been contacted by advisers representing Giuliani, Huckabee, McCain and former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.).
Kim Lehman, president of Iowa Right to Life Committee and a member of the Iowans for Brownback Leadership Committee, said she met with a representative from Huckabees campaign Wednesday and has also been contacted by Thompsons campaign.
Brownback got quite a bit of Catholic support, she said. Im seeing a lot of people at my end trying to decide which way to go.
She said that social conservatives are beginning to peel away from Romney as they learn of statements he made in favor of abortion rights when he ran for Massachusetts governor in 2002.
She said she would be stunned if Brownback backed Giuliani.
I find it simply hard to believe because Giuliani has expressed his position to even pay for abortion, she said. Lehmans son, Zachariah Gordon, who served as pro-life coalition director for Brownback in Iowa, said Huckabees campaign has expressed interest in hiring him.
He said it would be hypocritical for Brownback to endorse Giuliani or Romney because of their views on abortion.
Iowa sources close to Brownback said his grassroots organizers would try to keep his coalition of support intact until the Kansas senator endorsed a Republican candidate.
One Brownback source predicted the senator would announce his endorsement within the next month.
Weve done some internal polling to see where [Brownback supporters] are going to make sure theyre not flocking to someone were not going to endorse, said the source.
This is a very, very strange article.
I think the gist of the situation is buried somewhere in the middle: “Brownback has not indicated that he is likely to support Giuliani, but he has not ruled it out. He said he is also considering endorsing other top-tier Republican candidates.”
In other words, Brownback hasn’t really said anything. But this writer has phoned up a slew of people and asked them what they think would think if Brownback endorsed Rudy.
He also evidently called Brownback, and Brownback was basically noncommital. Then he did his spin job.
Brownback - sellout ?
What is Brownback thinking? If he hasn’t figured out that Rudy is a very liberal pro-abortion supporter, he is too stupid top be President. Can you imagine how perplexed his pro-life supporters must feel.
Brownback voted yes on shamnesty today. I knew about Brownback but my mouth dropped when I saw Lott voted yes.
Lott was pushing the McCain-Kennedy crap too.
Brownback a staunch antiabortionist and religious man to endorse Guliani??
Its total BS
Yes, but the fact that he is meeting with Rudy at all is pretty stupid, IMO
If Brownback endorses Giuliani, any credibility he has as a pro-lifer or social conservative is gone. He’ll prove in the end he is just a politician that will sellout his principles for whatever perks he’ll end up receiving.
Am I to assume that Brownback is shopping himself around?
Sam Brownback has enough intelligence to know that Hillary would be a disaster and has said he would endorse the republican nominee.
I wonder how the grand Ayatollah Dobson is taking the news. I am wondering if he has the great moral leader Newt Gingrich on speed dial to convince him to run for President.
I like Duncan Hunter, but let’s face it; no one is going to vote for a man named Duncan or Hunter for President. Unless it is Rick Hunter and Dee Dee McCall is his running mate.
Hmm. Pro-Lifers might want to be cautious about this.
What IF Brownback backs Rudy the abortionist?
During one of the debates, Brownback said he would support the republican nominee, whoever it is, in a generic fashion.
I can't tell you how unexcited I would be with a Giuliani-Brownback ticket.
At that point, even McCain starts to look good...
Short term memory problem, pompom lott has always been for amnesty. Brownback, voted for it before he voted against it the last time. I think they both need to retire and go snipe hunting.
We shall see. Hunter is a hard working, hard charging guy. And his supporters are pretty darned stoked.
More camera time, I reckon.
Yes, and to the overall harm of the party.
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