Sens. McCain and Brownback shake hands at the press conference announcing Brownback's endorsement.
CONCORD, New Hampshire (CNN) - As the Republican field battles for the support of social conservative leaders, Arizona Sen. John McCain told reporters Friday that Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback's endorsement would have "far more impact" than evangelical leader, Pat Robertson's decision to back former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Aboard his "Straight Talk Express," McCain called Giuliani's endorsement by the Christian Coalition founder a "stunning event," but added that in the social conservative community, Browback's backing would carry more weight. McCain pointed to the pro-life and pro-values communities where Brownback was "highly regarded."
Robertson's endorsement shocked many in the evangelical community given Giuliani's support for abortion and gay rights. Despite such differences, Robertson said he decided to endorse the former New York mayor because he was a "proven leader who is not afraid of what lies ahead and who will cast a hopeful vision for all Americans."
While the Giuliani camp hopes the backing of a prominent social conservative will help him build support with evangelical Christians, McCain is also vying for the same bloc of voters. McCain noted that he had already felt a lift since his Brownback endorsement with key Brownback campaign staffers and supporters coming on board.
- CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla