November 7th, 2007
01:34 PM ET
15 years ago

Brownback gets behind McCain

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.

Related: Giuliani, McCain pick up key Christian conservative backing

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Iowa • John McCain • Sam Brownback
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Blue in a Red State - Phoenix, Arizona

    Does it really matter?

    Sen McCain should throw in the towel. He's been a wonderful Civil Servant and Arizona is thankful for him. But its time for him to retire – his mental and physical stamina are getting less and less by the day.

    This country needs a president who has the ability to make some real changes. America has been swirling around the toilet bowl for years now and I don't think McCain has what it takes to keep us from going down the drain completely.

    November 7, 2007 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. Jim G, Boston, MA

    I'm sure those 3 extra votes will help him a lot!

    November 7, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  3. Daniel, NY

    There is an interesting new primary poll of Florida out this morning that suggests that Giuliani is not as strong as he once was in the state, and that Romney might be gaining ground.

    November 7, 2007 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. Michael Torrance, CA

    Thank goodness that McCain doesn't have a prayer of getting elected. As a republican, I like a lot of what he stands for. But to come out and openly campaign on getting Roe v Wade overturned is only courting the very conservative Christian right. Hello Mr. Giuliani.

    November 7, 2007 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. Hank, Fort Myers, FL

    Better than getting a pro-life endorsement from Pat Robertson!! This should "surge him ahead". Sadly, the overall message is the same old junk–different GOP candidate.

    November 7, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  6. Eric, Salt Lake City, Utah

    I only hope he makes it to the general election, which democrats fear, because otherwise I might vote for a dem candidate.

    McCain will get my vote in spite of his backing from creationists and those against reproductive choice/control. He's an independent thinker with the experience and plenty of stamina to get things done. Very sharp if you listen to more than sound bites and accept that some attempt at humor is okay.

    For VP–Paul or Obama–the former because his good ideas need to be tempered by reality, and the latter because he simply cannot execute on his dreams yet without more experience.

    November 7, 2007 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  7. Aaron K, Bondurant, IA

    "Also", said Brownback,"I'm going to suck up for the chance at Vice President or other cabinet position."

    November 7, 2007 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  8. Juan Reynoso, San Antonio, Texas

    The only candidate that do not betray the American people is Ron Paul. Any candidate that voted for an immigration reform is a traitor. Ron Paul will restore our constitution and the rule of law. This United State it is not for sale and that is what Bush and his cronies want to do.
    Ron Paul will save our country that is for sure.

    November 7, 2007 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  9. Mark Columbus, Ohio

    BrownBack Mountain? LOL!

    November 7, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. josh

    CNN, if your headline of: "Brownback gets Behind McCain" is some sort of jab at the sexual orientation of either Brownback or McCain, I don't appreciate it one bit!

    November 7, 2007 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  11. MH, San Antonio

    Great for McCain! This is the tipping point in his favor for the nomination.

    Polls are going in his favor more and more every day.

    November 7, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. Andrew E, Montreal, Canada

    John McCain is the only Republican candidate that has the reach and appeal to bring mainstream America on-side. His experience and vision and unparalleled, and it is heartening to see that Sam Brownback is not afraid to endorse him despite recent lacklustre polls. When the media and pollsters wake up, they will find America finally has a man who can bring the US back to a leadership position on the global stage. He is a President, not a mayor....

    November 7, 2007 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  13. Jaik , chicago, IL

    McCain lost his mind somewhere last year, he used to be a focused bipartisan dealer, and in his senility has descended into the sort of religious nutcase circuit populated by the extremist fundamentalists like Brownback, Bush and Al Quaeda. Same world view, same belief in the irrational

    November 7, 2007 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  14. Alexa, Annandale VA

    I understand that this is a very important vote for many people, but I always feel misgivings when people decide who to support based on one issue. There are a lot more hurting our country right now as well. Make sure that who you vote for actually will get more things done than that one.

    November 7, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  15. Phil Toole, San Jose, CA

    Once again, we see what kind of one trick pony Brownback is. He's completely clueless about foreign or domestic affairs, but he's all about Roe v. Wade. Can someone please tell these religio-nutjobs that there is more wrong with this country than this one issue? We're mired in an endless war in Iraq, our healthcare system is a joke, millions of people are trying to survive on minimum wage jobs that haven't seen an increase in 10 years, and we think abortion is the deciding factor. As far as his backing Giuliani, I agree with the writer that said there's another 3 votes for him.

    November 7, 2007 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  16. Scott, Madison, WI

    Something or someone needs to get behind this ol' mule. Has he found his way back to the barnyard yet to convince the rest of the herd that he's still straight talkin'?

    November 7, 2007 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  17. Bob, Seattle

    They are both good men.

    November 7, 2007 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  18. FT Doylestown, Pa

    One of his Amnesty Gang ....McCain you sold out with Kennedy /McCain Amnesty Bill this past July. Please just go home and be thankful you still have a senate seat. Brownback voted yes on Amnesty and then (when he knew it wasn't going to win) took it back the vote and changed to NO.
    America we Need a LEADER for our Country! I don't see them out there YET.......Please GOD ....give us a Leader.

    November 7, 2007 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |