Sen. Sam Brownback is trying to distinguish himself from the rest of the Republican '08 field in the eyes of conservative voters
CHAPIN, South Carolina (CNN) - Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, in South Carolina for the town of Chapin's annual Labor Day parade, said in an interview with CNN that his foreign policy experience will help him separate him from other Republican candidates vying to win over Christian conservative voters.
Along with Brownback, Republican hopefuls Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and soon-to-be candidate Fred Thompson are all working to position themselves as true conservatives on matters important to so-called "values voters," including the issues of abortion, gay marriage and judicial nominations.
"The pro-life issue [and others], I've carried those issues," said Brownback. But the Kansas senator then went on to explain that his experience on the Senate Foreign Relations committee gives him an edge that other Republicans lack.
"I really think we can do some separation on foreign policy, and that people are much more in tune [with the fact] that the next president needs to have foreign policy experience and not learn it on the job," he said.
Brownback also said that the current frontrunner in the race, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, doesn't have the staying power to win the state's primary in January.
"I think a lot of the mayor's support - he's a wonderful man - but I think it's built on name ID, and I think it's very soft," said Brownback, who added that his stance on issues such as abortion, an optional flat tax, and a three-state political solution in Iraq will resonate with Palmetto State voters.
- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby
The "Mitt Mobile" was in Chapin, South Carolina on Labor Day.
CHAPIN, South Carolina (CNN) - Sam Brownback, the Republican senator from Kansas, was the only presidential candidate to show up at the annual Labor Day parade here on Monday, but the lack of national politicians didn't overshadow the fact that this political ritual is alive and well in South Carolina.
Along with Brownback, the presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani were out in full force distributing stickers and candy, mostly to children under the age of 10.
Romney's son Craig was here representing his father's campaign, walking down Columbia Avenue shaking hands as the "Mitt Mobile" lumbered along behind him. Giuliani supporters in the parade struck up a "Rudy! Rudy!" chant, taking a cue from the popular football movie. Ron Paul also had a small but very vocal group of supporters who told the crowd that Paul is the only presidential candidate who "understands the Constitution."
Brownback criticized an Iowa court ruling.
(CNN)–Senator Sam Brownback criticized an Iowa district court ruling that said same-sex couples have the right to marry.
"We should have the courage and conviction to speak out against this decision. The people of Iowa reject the redefinition of marriage, and I pledge to defend the bond of marriage, as I have consistently done in the past," the GOP presidential hopeful from Kansas said in a statement Friday. "This decision shows how important it is to elect leaders who will stand for marriage and who will appoint judges that will not legislate from the bench. We need to rebuild the family and renew the culture, not redefine marriage."
On Thursday, a Polk County judge in Iowa temporarily cleared the way for same-sex couples across the state to apply for marriage licenses in Polk County. He ruled that Iowa's 1998 Defense of Marriage Act, which allowed marriage only between a man and a woman, violated the constitutional rights of due process and equal protection of six gay couples who had sued.
On Friday, the county recorder stopped accepting marriage applications after the judge stayed his ruling pending a county appeal of the ruling to the Iowa Supreme Court.
- CNN Political Desk Editor Jamie Crawford
Brownback spoke at Armstrong's cancer forum Tuesday.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Sam Brownback said Tuesday that, contrary to what Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton claims, there is no war on science being waged by the Bush administration.
"I absolutely disagree," the Kansas senator said. "That is not taking place."
Speaking at Lance Armstrong's LIVESTRONG Presidential Cancer Forum in Cedar Rapids, Brownback pledged he would "actively fund science."
Brownback went on to say that he "believes in" stem cell research, but that he does not "believe you should kill a young life to do this... I believe all life is sacred."
The Kansas senator's comments came in response to what happened Monday at the Democratic forum, when Sen. Hillary Clinton said President Bush is at the helm of what a "war against science."
"What really bothers me," Clinton said, "is that we are on the brink of so many medical breakthroughs right now [and] the current administration has literally called a halt to the war with cancer."
- CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch
Brownback is seeking to differentiate himself from his White House rivals.
(CNN) – Sen. Sam Brownback says the next president “shouldn’t have to learn foreign policy on the job.”
The Republican from Kansas and GOP White House hopeful made the comments while campaigning Tuesday in Barrington, New Hampshire.
Brownback also added that the United States must “walk wiser and humbler in the world.”
The comments by Brownback, a three-term senator who served on the Foreign Relations Committee, may be a new line of attack against some of his rivals for the GOP nomination, such as former governors Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. The comments also appear to be a slight against President Bush, the man Brownback hopes to succeed.
Brownback is swimming against the tide of modern electoral history by embracing this argument. Four of the past five presidents entered the White House after serving at least one term as a state governor. The last sitting U.S. senator to be elected president was John F. Kennedy in 1960.
- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN)- The Ames straw poll is over. The candidates are leaving town, some with ribbons of victory and others with tough decisions to make about whether to continue their presidential campaigns.
We’re about to depart Iowa, but before we do we thought we’d take a look at which candidates may not be candidates much longer.
The straw poll in Ames serves a very important purpose. It traditionally helps narrow the field of GOP presidential hopefuls and yesterday’s contest is expected to be no exception.
So, here are some observations of what could happen.
Perhaps the candidate most wounded by last night’s vote is former Wisconsin Gov. and Bush cabinet secretary Tommy Thompson. He did not meet the expectations that he set for himself leading up to the poll. Thompson made it clear that Iowa was the key to his campaign. He came in sixth in the straw poll with only 7.3 percent of the vote. No word yet on whether he’ll abandon his quest for the White House.
While Sen. Sam Brownback finished in the top three, he was greatly overshadowed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s surprise second place finish. The Kansas Republican spent a great deal of money on the straw poll and will likely consider leaving the campaign trail to return full time to the Senate.
Even though California Rep. Duncan Hunter finished behind two opponents who did not even participate in the straw poll, there is no chance he is leaving the race anytime soon.
"This is just a start for us, because this is the first real week we have done in Iowa," Hunter said in an interview with CNN prior to the results being reported. “We look at this as a good start."
As for the winners, Huckabee will use the victory to try and raise money for his reinvigorated campaign and the big winner, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, will seek to use the straw poll to continue to build his massive Iowa operation and as a springboard to greater national recognition.
- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser and CNN Political Editor Mark Preston
MITT ROMNEY 4,516 VOTES 31.6%
MIKE HUCKABEE 2,587 VOTES 18.1%
SAM BROWNBACK 2,192 VOTES 15.3%
TOM TANCREDO 1,961 VOTES 13.7%
RON PAUL 1,305 VOTES 9.1%
TOMMY THOMPSON 1,039 VOTES 7.3%
FRED THOMPSON 203 VOTES 1.4%
RUDY GIULIANI 183 VOTES 1.3%
DUNCAN HUNTER 174 VOTES 1.2%
JOHN MCCAIN 101 VOTES .7%
JOHN COX 41 VOTES .3%
14,302 TOTAL BALLOTS CAST
AMES, Iowa (CNN)- Voting is underway in the first crucial Republican straw poll contest of the 2008 presidential campaign season. The first ballots were cast at 10am CT here on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames. Voting will last until 6pm local time and results will be announced one hour later.
Voters need to prove they are Iowa residents and need to pay a $35 entrance fee. Many of the campaigns are busing in their supporters and paying for their entrance fees. But the ballots are cast in secret so there is no guarantee on how people will vote, even if they are bused in and their entrance fees paid for by certain campaigns.
After they cast their ballots, voters need to dip their thumbs in indelible ink, similar to the kind used in the Iraqi national elections. This is supposed to prevent people from voting more than once.
Mitt Romney is expected to win today’s straw poll. The big question right now is by how much the former Massachusetts Governor will win. The top three GOP contenders in the national polls, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Senator from Tennessee Fred Thompson, who’s yet to announce he’s running for President, and Senator from Arizona John McCain, are not actively taking part in today’s straw poll.
The other big question today is which of the second tier candidates will come in second. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Senator from Kansas Sam Brownback, and former Wisconsin Governor and Bush Cabinet Secretary Tommy Thompson are all gunning hard for capturing second place. Congressmen Duncan Hunter and Ron Paul and Tom Tancredo are also here today and hoping for a strong finish.
There’s the possibility that some of these second and third tier candidates may drop out of the race for the White House if they don’t perform well in today’s straw poll.
- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser
Romney has come under fire on the eve of the Republican straw poll in Iowa.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Mitt Romney appears to be pumping up the volume, just days before a crucial Republican straw poll in Iowa. The former Massachusetts governor tops the latest polls of Iowa Republicans, and possibly because of his poll numbers, Romney’s fending off new attacks on his evolution on abortion.
“I’m not here to discuss a religion,” said Romney on a conservative talk radio show in Des Moines Thursday morning. But when host Jan Michelson went to a commercial break, accusing Romney of distancing himself from his Mormon faith when it comes to abortion, things got heated.
"I don't like coming on the air and having you go after me and my church,” said Romney.
Michelson responded, saying, "I'm not going after your church; I agree with your church!"
"I'm not running as a Mormon, and I get a little tired of coming on a show like yours and having it all about Mormon,” Romney replied.
"See, I don't mind about it being all about that," Mickelson explained.
"I do. I do," responded Romney, who’s hoping to become the first Mormon elected President of the United States.
Romney’s also facing increased attacks from rival Republican White House hopefuls. Sam Brownback’s campaign’s been sending Iowa voters a taped message from the senator from Kansas on Romney’s abortion stance. Brownback stood by his message when questioned about it Sunday at a GOP presidential debate in Iowa, saying “there’s one word that describes that ad and its ‘truthful’.”
Romney fired back, saying “I get tired of people that are holier-than-thou because they’ve been pro-life longer than I have.”
Romney defended his stance on abortion on Sunday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney called Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback "desperate" and "negative" for justifying automated phone calls to Iowa voters calling Romney pro-life at the start of the Republican debate in Iowa on Sunday morning.
In the calls, Brownback's campaign said that "nothing is further from the truth" than Romney's pro-life position. He criticized Romney's wife, Ann, for contributing to Planned Parenthood and said that until two years ago, he pledged to uphold abortion rights legislation. Brownback defended the ad and called it "truthful," while in response, Romney said "virtually nothing in that ad is true."
"I get tired of people who are holier than thou because they've been pro-life longer than I have," Romney said.
Romney has received criticism for blatantly changing his views on abortion. He defended himself for switching his views from being “effectively pro-choice” to pro-life and said that he is "proud of the fact."
–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich