Brownback endorsed McCain Wednesday in Iowa.
DUBUQUE, Iowa (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate John McCain won the backing of Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback Wednesday, an endorsement that could help the Arizona senator draw support among social conservatives .
"I am endorsing the best pro-life candidate to beat Hillary Clinton," Brownback, who abandoned his own White House bid last month, said in a press conference in Dubuque.
"Here is a pro-life leader who will appoint strict-constructionist judges so that I believe we can end this night of wrong and have Roe v. Wade overturned," Brownback continued.
McCain, who hovers around fourth place in many recent polls in this crucial early-caucus state, hailed the endorsement as "significant"
"There are endorsements and then there are endorsements, support and different kinds of support," he said. "This time the support comes from one of the most respected men in America."
The endorsement comes nearly a month after Brownback ended his own presidential bid after lackluster fundraising and poor showings in both the national and crucial early primary and caucus state polls.
But the Kansas senator still holds sway with many socially conservative voters and was heavily courted by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose pro-choice stances leave some Republican voters uncomfortable.
"I met with the mayor a couple weeks ago, and said I would meet and talk with all the presidential candidates," Brownback said. "He is a quality guy, but there are too many things there that I look at that I couldn’t support."
The two men also expressed surprise that Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson came out in support of the former New York City mayor Thursday.
"Every once in a while I am left speechless, this is one of those times," McCain said.
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney