June 29th, 2007
01:43 PM ET
12 years ago

Brownback: I was sending message with vote switch

Brownback defended his immigration vote switch Friday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, is defending his last-minute switch against the immigration bill Thursday, a change he made after it became clear the measure was doomed.

In an interview with CNN Radio Friday, the presidential hopeful claimed he was trying to send two messages at once.

"I wanted to send a clear signal that I am for comprehensive immigration reform but now is not the time, this is not the vehicle,” Brownback said.

The Kansas Republican initially voted in favor of cloture, or keeping the bill alive, during the pivotal Thursday roll call. But 15 minutes after he cast that vote, a flurry of opposition crystallized into 45 fatal votes against the bill and it became clear the bill was going to die. At that point, Brownback changed position.

The cloture vote ultimately would fail 46-53, 14 votes short of the 60 it needed to survive. Brownback is among 18 Senators who voted for cloture on one aspect of the bill Tuesday, but then voted against it Thursday.

He is the only senator known to change votes during the roll call.

When pressed, Brownback again insisted the fast change was a conscience message about immigration policy change.

"This vehicle’s not the right vehicle to do it, that’s why I did it that way," he said.

- CNN Radio's Dick Uliano and Lisa Goddard contributed to this report

Filed under: Immigration • Sam Brownback
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. James Atlanta, GA

    Who tells these politicians that they can spin things like this? "I did it to send a message." Message received loud and clear, you will run from your convictions depending on the way the wind is blowing. Yesterday the American people huffed and puffed and blew that monstrosity of an immigration bill down, and Brownback moved as fast as he could to jump to the other side. Doesn't all this mean that we should really call him "Yellowback."

    June 29, 2007 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  2. Lee, Manhattan, Ks

    That excuse is as bad as John Kerry “I voted for it before I voted against it”. Grow a set!

    June 29, 2007 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. Bob Earl, Miami, Florida

    Dear CNN readers and Senator Brownback,
    Now that the American public has voiced their opinion on the politicians version of immigration legislation it is time for the public to tell the U.S. Senate what they DO want.
    Senator Brownback, we want a wall built on our southern border extending from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. We want our military stationed on that entire border.
    Everyone start calling, faxing and e-mailing the U.S. Senate with what they Do want.

    June 29, 2007 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  4. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    This is the same guy who doesn't believe in science and thinks the Earth is 6000 years old? No more people who represent anti-intellectualism should be allowed to run for office in this country anymore. Look what the last 6 years have produced for us!

    June 29, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  5. monica, signal hill calif.

    here is another polywog speaking out both sides of his mouth

    June 29, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. jack jett, bible belt texas

    Brownback is such a wuss when it comes to issues. A man doesn't not how he is going to vote until the last minute is a man whose thought process is flawed.

    Jack Jett

    June 29, 2007 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. Brad, Milwaukee, WI

    This is great. Brownback is the same guy who seems to think that he can somehow win the Republican nomination solely by attacking Mitt Romney with charges of "flip-flopping." I think politicians should be allowed to changes their opinion/vote if, after thoughtful consideration, they conclude that they were originally mistaken. However, this hypocrite Brownback clearly did not give much thought to this important decision if he changed his vote during the roll call.

    June 29, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  8. Jonathan, New York, NY

    All right Flipper!

    June 29, 2007 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |