November 9th, 2007
01:19 PM ET
12 years ago

McCain: Brownback has 'far more impact' than Pat Robertson

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

Filed under: John McCain • Sam Brownback
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Richard, Ewing, NJ

    I hope McCain will make a real comeback, although I am not sure how much an impact Sam Brownback has. Nevertheless, a symbolic endorsement is still a good thing. Personally, I dislike Pat Robertson, but Robertson definitely has a much greater influence than Sam Brownback. I bet half of the Americans heard of Robertson and I will be surprised if 5% of Americans know who Brownback it.

    November 9, 2007 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  2. Patrick,Cincinnati,OH

    "far more impact" than evangelical leader, Pat Robertson's decision to back former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

    Really? I don't know how the endorsement of someone who thinks stem cells can talk will help but like most religi-nuts they need to keep you in pain and suffering or there wouldn't be any need for the church.

    November 9, 2007 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  3. roger, conway sc

    The evangelical vote to the republican party is so phony...these extremests only want someone to spit out there extreme views...examples Craig, Vitter, Giuliani (with Robertson's support)Bush, Cheney... They are all a bunch of HYPOCRITES...They scream about being physical conservative yet support a war that came about because of lies...they are against all gay issues yet alot are closeted, I am sure if we knew there are many who have had abortions....EXTREMESTS...

    November 9, 2007 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  4. Bill, Olathe KS

    Brownback is nuts!

    November 9, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  5. Matt, Chicago

    I'd like to hear from "social conservatives" regarding this statement. Is this true? As much as I disagree with Brownback on almost every issue, I think he's much more consistent with his application of Christian principles than self-serving, out-of-touch alarmists like Robertson. But I have no idea who appeals more to the that segment of society.

    November 9, 2007 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  6. Chris, Middletown, CT

    I like McCain – but the lack understanding of the harm the battle of the right vs the left is causing this country is staggering – we need the only moderate running....its not about the "right" or the "left" winning – we have seen what that does...polarizing our government – Giuliani will be elected – as the only moderate running on either side...he is the best running...and it will send a message to both sides that we have turned a corner and chose moderate candidates

    November 9, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  7. Richard, Ewing, NJ

    Stem cell research is overrated anyway. Somewhat like nanotechnology so far. By the way, US does not ban stem cell research. The government simply does not have pubic funding for it. You are free to do stem cell research anyway, even at your home.

    The fact of the matters is there is no real evidence for stem cell research. Pirvate industries can work on it. Pharmaceutical industries can work on it, and foreign countries can work on it. So far, nothing. There is no progress, which is why every supporter for the stem cell research can only use hypothetical terms.

    November 9, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  8. disgusted, Midland, PA

    I hope that everyone pandering to the Christian right loses big-time!

    I'm sick to death of this crap. Aren't you?

    November 9, 2007 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  9. H, Fort Myers, FL

    Now here is something else I agree with the man on!!! Hey Pat, has God told you who is going to win the World Series next year?

    November 9, 2007 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. Richard, Ewing, NJ

    Chris, Middletown
    I doubt Giuliani can be elected. The only he has going for him is that he was the mayor of New York on 9/11. Yes, he cleaned up NY crime, but that is a mayor resume. That is not good enough to run for presidency. His multiple marriages, his police chief Bernard Kerik, his lack of state-wide or national politics experience... he is just too weak.

    November 9, 2007 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  11. Jimmy

    What exactly is the 'pro values' community?? Who exactly is anti values?? Is it possible for the media to stop being so lazy and recognise that there are just different values and not let the right get away with hijacking the idea that they are the only ones with values

    November 9, 2007 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  12. mike, Palo Alto, CA

    Impact aside, both Brownback and Robertson are extremists who want to impose, by law, the values of the Religous Right on everyone in our society. I call them the American Taliban. Both men are true believers. Robertson is just a little nuts on top of that. The important part of this endorsement game is that McCain can be expected to be an instument of the Religious Right. And we have had more than enough of that with Bush.

    To Chris of CT, Guilliani is no moderate. He has surrounded himself with neocon foreign policy advisors and has committed (to the cheers of the Religious Right) to appoint 'strict constructionist' judges ... and that is a code word for support of the RR agenda.

    November 9, 2007 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  13. Derek, Riverside CA

    Just an FYI.

    John McCain is a supporter of federal funds for stem cell research. He is courting the right to try and get some momentum. He is actually just as moderate as Guiliani, but is in a bit of a pickle. He needs votes to get the nomination and the most fertile ground in the GOP is the religious right. The same people he openly rejected in 2000.

    November 9, 2007 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. T. Tim, Lodi, Wi

    Brownback and Robertson: America's version of the
    Taliban? Theocracy no. Democracy yes.

    November 9, 2007 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  15. EB Rideout, Georgia

    Goodbye, John. You're cooked. Once CrackPat Robertsons flock see this obvious snub, you'll be collecting your pension.

    November 9, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  16. Kristy Sanborn, Dixon, Mo.

    I think Giuliani's cast of a hopeful vision for all Americans was hoping to get his friend, Kerik, into our Homeland Security Agency, and then Kerik is indicted yesterday on a 16 count Grand Jury indictment, so much for Giuliani's hopeful visions'!!
    Mr. McCain is the best of the running presidential candidates to lead this country, hopefully America sees that in time.
    And Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback already knows that, thank you Sen. Brownback.

    November 9, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  17. Karen,ny

    Richard..First of all I would like to say that John McCain is such a character I get the biggest kick out of him. He is so funny. Now, I would like to have our government fund stem cell research. Futhermore we spend alot more money on idiotic things including all that money on Bush's wars! Animal research just does not work like people are led to believe and stem cells will cure diseases, of that I am sure.

    November 9, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  18. JC Topeka, KS

    far more impact" than evangelical leader, Pat Robertson's

    Well that's not saying much about the the evangeical right and may be be good sign for the future of the country.

    November 9, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. Samuel, Lincoln, NE

    I think McCain is kidding himself if he thinks that Brownback's endorsement will bring more evangelicals to support his candidacy than Pat Robertson's endorsement will bring to Rudy Giuliani's.

    When will the GOP candidates learn that they don't have to pander to a bunch of Bible thumping lunatics in order to get votes? John McCain was at his best when he was a maverick Republican supporting campaign finance reform and referring to evangelicals as "agents of intolerance". John, you're still right about them, and they don't carry the clout that they think they do.

    November 9, 2007 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  20. Angel, Los Angeles of Anaheim

    Gotta agree with 'disgusted' from Midland, PA. We ex-Midlanders still think the same way even though we are no longer in our hometown. Leopards Forever!! Bushes for Never!!!

    November 9, 2007 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  21. Steve WV

    In 2000 McCain scoffed at the looney right, now he's groveling. How much more will he compromise his integrity to win votes? He looks more and more like a tired old man everyday.

    November 9, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  22. Mrs. America

    I don't think either will have much impact on anyone or anything. I can't imagine Giuliani wanting to be endorsed by someone who says some of the bizarre things Robertson has said and apparently believed. He doesn't seem too straight in the mind anymore.

    November 10, 2007 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  23. Chimpeach Bush, Burbank, Ca

    What's a Brownback? HA HA. Oh yeah, that guy, heck I thought he dropped out of the primary thing a long time ago the way he was polling. He has about as much chance to win the nomination as NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the only Republican with an once of integrity and credibility and the only one I would even consider voting for. But Michael Bloomberg didn't even bother running. Obviously he is well aware of who holds the real power in his party and they would never nominate a man like Bloomberg who doesn't pander (much) to the dark side on the far right as Guliani seems all too willing to do of late. But beyond Rudy Guliani and a few of his rabid die hards, who really gives a hoot whom a right-wing extremist wacko like Pat Robertson endorses?! In fact, to most normal thinking American an endorsement from a guy like Robertson (who of course supported Liar-in-Chief Jr Bush about 95% of the time) would be one more good reason NOT to support Guliani!

    November 10, 2007 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  24. Mark, Lawrence, KS

    I used to respect John McCain, especially when he referred to Robertson and Falwell as "agents of intolerance." Now, he's just pandering to the religious right. Brownback may not be nearly as loony as Pat Robertson, but they're still of the same flock. McCain needs to return to his old, maverick ways.

    November 10, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  25. Ann ME

    Me'ow! My, my. You're starting to talk as dirty as the Democrats.

    November 12, 2007 01:46 am at 1:46 am |