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Brownback Seeks 2008 Conservative Mantle
The Hill ^ | 12/5/06 | Alexander Bolton

Posted on 12/05/2006 8:47:32 AM PST by meg88

Brownback seeks ’08 conservative mantle By Alexander Bolton

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) yesterday established a presidential exploratory committee, seeking to fill what conservatives say is an absence of strong conservative leadership among top-tier Republican White House candidates.

Brownback immediately sought to position himself as the leading social conservative of the 2008 field.

“I have decided, after much prayerful consideration, to consider a bid for the Republican nomination for the presidency,” Brownback said in a statement. “There is a real need in our country to rebuild the family and renew our culture and there is a need for genuine conservatism and real compassion in the national discussion.”

Brownback, along with outgoing Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), has in recent years been the Senate’s most vocal advocate of social conservatives’ agenda on abortion and related issues.

Brownback’s appeal to social conservatives could help him become the leading alternative to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the perceived frontrunner.

“The way I see the race shaping up is that it’s going to be McCain against someone who’s not McCain,” said David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union. “McCain has a lot of people in the party who don’t like him.”

McCain has opposed his party on key issues such as tax cuts, campaign finance reform, gun control and global warming — stances that won the admiration of the nation’s media elite, whom conservatives distrust.

Brownback is the third Republican member of Congress to create an exploratory committee. McCain and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) have both established such panels, as has former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani.

McCain, Giuliani and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who is expected to set up an exploratory committee soon, are considered by Republican insiders and political analysts as the top tier. Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister popular with social conservatives, is also among the upper echelon of GOP candidates.

The two Republican officials who were thought to have the best chance of becoming the conservatives’ choice candidate, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Sen. George Allen (R-Va.), have both dropped out of contention. Frist announced last week that he would not run, and Allen lost his reelection bid in an upset after a dismal campaign that did much damage to his long-term appeal.

Social conservatives are wary of McCain for his stance on campaign finance, of Romney for his views on abortion, and of Giuliani because of his beliefs on both abortion and homosexual rights.

Many are gravitating toward Huckabee because of his experience as a minister, but Huckabee has alienated small-government fiscal conservatives because he raised taxes as governor.

The three most prominent aspirants, McCain, Giuliani, and Romney, are expected to run as centrists, even though they are all now working hard to court conservative support.

“Each of those three is going to run toward the center of the Reagan coalition,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, a leader of libertarian small-government conservatives, who hosts a weekly meeting of prominent activists. “McCain despite his apostasy is trying to get in the right place on guns and taxes; Romney is trying to run as a more conservative candidate [and] Giuliani I assume will do the same thing when he gets in the race.”

Norquist criticized Huckabee’s record on fiscal issues.

“He keeps raising taxes,” Norquist said, then alluded to Huckabee’s authorship of a book on his personal weight loss. “He has raised taxes more than once. The one thing Huckabee is known for is that he’s lost lots of weight. I would prefer a fat guy with a skinny budget.”

Tom McClusky, vice president of government affairs for the Family Research Council, one of the most influential conservative advocacy groups in Washington, said Giuliani has been historically “pro-gay rights and pro-abortion.”

McCain, he said, has been “moderately pro-life” and supported issues adamantly opposed by social conservatives, such as embryonic stem-cell research and fetal- tissue research.

Romney, who declared his support for abortion rights during an unsuccessful 1994 Senate race, has a “spotty record on life,” said McCluskey, who said Romney is now “certainly coming around on the issue, which we hope he will, and he has good people working for him.”

McClusky said Brownback might be able to fill a conservative leadership void among top-tier candidates. But even if he does not win the nomination, Brownback could have a major impact on the Republican primary by defining the debate on abortion and other related “life” issues, he said.

Paul Weyrich, chairman of the Free Congress Foundation, who hosts a weekly meeting of influential social conservatives, acknowledged the perceived weakness of conservative credentials among the GOP’s presidential frontrunners. He said Brownback or Huckabee could fill the role of a strong socially conservative candidate.

“Brownback’s candidacy potentially gives us a vehicle and there may be others, like Gov. Huckabee of Arkansas, who many favor because he’s a former preacher and is mesmerizing in his speaking ability.”

Weyrich said that he and other conservative leaders would meet with and question leading presidential candidates to understand their views.

“If we can, we’re gong to try to get behind one of them,” said Weyrich. “If we do, we can give one of the candidates a considerable boost and could kick one of them to the top tier.”

Conservative leaders uniting behind Brownback could push him to the final stages of the GOP primary or perhaps to the nomination.

But Keene, who is also columnist for The Hill, said Brownback’s strength is also his weakness. He may appeal to social conservatives but faces the challenge of having to win over a broader spectrum of Republicans.

“His reach doesn’t go much beyond the social conservative base,” said Keene. “To run a viable candidacy you have to do more than that. At least Brownback has a claim that none of the others have on that segment of the movement. His challenge will be to get other conservatives, [such as] anti-tax people.”

Keene said Brownback is better known by conservative voters than other Republicans positioning themselves as alternatives to McCain. He cited former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore as examples.

Keene said conservatives are afraid of McCain because of his past stances on tax cuts and campaign finance reform, and because he has a reputation for doling out political retribution.

“Conservatives are afraid of him because they think he doesn’t like them and goes after most people he doesn’t like,” said Keene.

TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Kansas
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To: The Ghost of FReepers Past

No, because many of the Democrat candidates running against Republican candidates also opposed illegal immigration and amnesty, such as McCaskill in Missouri and the democrat who beat J.D. in his Arizona congressional race. I don't think the Democrats want to risk losing control of Congress by passing an Amnesty bill which would rock the boat for the elections in two years.

21 posted on 12/05/2006 9:36:07 AM PST by Howard Jarvis Admirer (Howard Jarvis, the foe of the tax collector and friend of the California homeowner)
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To: The Ghost of FReepers Past

No, because many of the Democrat candidates running against Republican candidates also opposed illegal immigration and amnesty, such as McCaskill in Missouri and the democrat who beat J.D. in his Arizona congressional race. I don't think the Democrats want to risk losing control of Congress by passing an Amnesty bill which would rock the boat for the elections in two years.

22 posted on 12/05/2006 9:36:09 AM PST by Howard Jarvis Admirer (Howard Jarvis, the foe of the tax collector and friend of the California homeowner)
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To: meg88

As long as he is on the wrong side of immigration, he can pound sand as far as I am concerned.

An I am a KANSAN!

23 posted on 12/05/2006 9:36:39 AM PST by dangerdoc (dangerdoc (not actually dangerous any more))
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To: meg88

It's early, but anyone that goes with "compassionate conservative" is not on my short leadership list.

We have been there and done that. We need a really strong leader who is not afraid to be a real American conservative.

24 posted on 12/05/2006 9:36:44 AM PST by alarm rider (Not a democrat, not a republican, not a "libertarian".. A CONSERVATIVE.)
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To: meg88

He'll be spending the winter in Iowa, making his case to the people.

25 posted on 12/05/2006 9:45:26 AM PST by karnage
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To: alarm rider

I think the more you see of Senator Brownback, the more you'll like.

26 posted on 12/05/2006 9:46:27 AM PST by karnage
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To: meg88

I agree with you--you can't be a conservative if you are in favor of selective enforcement of laws.

27 posted on 12/05/2006 9:48:20 AM PST by rottndog (WOOF!!!)
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To: MadIvan

"The last Republican Senator elected directly to the Presidency was Warren G. Harding in 1920."

Yeah, but what I don't see anyone pointing out is the the Democrats won't be running a Governor in 2008 either. So the mold is broken.

28 posted on 12/05/2006 9:53:53 AM PST by FastCoyote
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To: FastCoyote
If the Democrats had any brains, they'd be running a Blue Dog Governor like Gov. Phil Bredesen (D-TN).

Regards, Ivan

29 posted on 12/05/2006 9:55:37 AM PST by MadIvan (I aim to misbehave.)
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To: MadIvan; BlackElk
The last Republican Senator elected directly to the Presidency was Warren G. Harding in 1920.

Your sample is too small to be meaningful. In most elections, at least one of the candidates is a sitting/former prez or veep. Among Republicans:

2004 Prez
2000 Gov
1996 Sen
1992 Prez
1988 VP
1984 Prez
1980 Fmr Gov
1976 Prez
1972 Prez
1968 Fmr VP
1964 Sen
1960 VP
1956 Prez
1952 General (Ike)
1948 Gov
1944 Gov
1940 Businessman (Willkie)
1936 Gov
1932 Prez
1928 Sec. of Commerce (Hoover)
1924 Prez

So, the only time we really TRIED a Senator since 1920 was Bob Dole and Barry Goldwater, both running against popular incumbents. You could argue that coupled with Alf Landon we have had a bad track record from Kansans of late. But if its Hillary Rodham/Obama/Bayh/Kerry/Edwards/Biden vs. McCain or Brownback we WILL be electing a Senator president.
30 posted on 12/05/2006 9:56:33 AM PST by sittnick (There is no salvation in politics.)
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To: karnage

"I think the more you see of Senator Brownback, the more you'll like"

Apparently Virginia and Massachusett citizens are having thousands of welfarite immigrants from Africa dumped on them curtesy of Senator Brownback - I wonder if they will like him after they find out he dumped the tribesmen into their communities? A quick google search turned up this.

March 03, 2003

Sam Brownback and the Somali Bantu
By Thomas Allen

Coming soon to a town near you: some of a projected influx of 12,000 Somali Bantu. Unless you live in Kansas—thanks to the hidden hypocrisy of its arch-immigration enthusiast Senator, Sam Brownback.

You have to admire the sense of humor of the folk in the refugee industry. Their current bright idea: to resettle part of a polygamous tribe that practices female genital mutilation in Holyoke, Massachusetts--next door to the first women’s college in America.

Even by the standards of the refugee industry – and God knows etc.--the story of the Somali Bantu is wild. They are not ethnic Somalis, the group who have just notoriously discovered Lewiston, Maine, doubling its welfare budget in two years. (At 3 percent of the Lewiston’s population, Somalis now receive 46 percent of its welfare payments). Instead, the Somali Bantu are the descendants of slaves brought to Somalia from further south as much as two hundred years ago. They remain distinct and are allegedly despised by their former masters--themselves, it should be noted, black Africans.

Under a 1997 agreement with the United Nations, which operates Somali Bantu refugee camps in Kenya, the Somali Bantu were to resettle in Mozambique, their ancestral homeland. But Mozambique backed out at the eleventh hour, citing a change in government and a lack of resources.

So the Somali Bantu are coming here.

Of course, for a fraction of the money the U.S. will spend to move this tribe to America, Mozambique could have been persuaded to carry through on its promises. But the U.S. refugee industry needs clients! So that option was never considered.

The cost to the taxpayer of resettling this tribe in the U.S. could run into the billions.

For example, the usual HIV bar to U.S. entry does not apply in the case of refugees. Of the Somali Bantu who have been processed for resettlement so far, slightly less than 1% have the HIV virus. That’s low compared to most HIV prevalence rates in Africa—but it’s about 3 times the rate in the U.S.

Additionally, the American Public Health Association says “other factors indicate that the country and particularly immigrants from Somalia are at significant risk” from HIV. APHA cites screening failures and new undetectable strains of the disease now emerging in the area.

APHA adds cheerfully:

“A variety of parasitic diseases are common in Somalia, including schistosomiasis, roundworms, tapeworms…. Parasitic diseases are sometimes difficult to readily diagnosis because many HCPs [Health Care Providers] in the U.S. are unfamiliar with the symptoms and appropriate screening tests. This is understandable since these diseases are not endemic to the U.S.”


Many more of the approximately 900,000 Bantu who are still in Somalia could well end up here too. The resettlement from the Kenyan U.N. camps does not explicitly guarantee those left in Somalia a place in America. But it will detonate the usual explosion of family chain migration, asylum seekers and illegal immigration.

The federal Office of Refugee Resettlement wants to keep together the Somali Bantu because of the special needs they face integrating into a modern society. These needs were recently graphically summed up by International Organization for Migration bureaucrat Shasha Chanoff: "Do not assume they can open a door just because it has a doorknob." By settling large numbers in the same general location, the federal government can concentrate and efficiently distribute the services needed to support the tribe.

Immense pressure has been put on Holyoke. It has been assured its quota will be only 300 refugees. (Of course, refugees settled elsewhere can move to Holyoke, as Lewiston has discovered.) A million in federal grant money is being dangled plus the promise of an ongoing stream of federal welfare dollars, pumping $1-2 million annually into the local economy.

In spite of the prospect of becoming a Klondike of handouts, the benighted Holyoke council still passed a symbolic resolution rejecting the resettlement—even with the proffered package. Of course, this was merely symbolic. The resettlement is federally mandated. But it’s significant, because enough local opposition probably could deter Washington.

Unsurprisingly, the protests of Holyoke and Lewiston brought the entire national media apparat down on their heads.

But the national media was strangely silent when another community resisted Somali refugees—successfully. Thus late last year, the New York Times coyly reported “refugee experts say that one United States community, which they did not name, has expressed misgivings about taking in the Somali Bantu”. [Somali Bantu, Trapped in Kenya, Seek a Home, December 9, 2001,By Marc Lacey ]

Whoa! That’s the same group that is now being imposed on Holyoke. And the resistance was led, not by bigoted local peasants, but by a pillar in the politico-immigration complex.

It was none other than Senator Sam Brownback (R.-Kansas). He said the state of Kansas would not take even a single Somali Bantu.

When it comes to mass immigration, Sam Brownback is not just another Senator. He played a key role in sabotaging Republican support for the 1996 Smith-Simpson bill, the last serious effort at immigration reduction. And when the State Department accepted the Somali Bantu, and discussions began about where they would go, he was chairman of the Senate immigration subcommittee.

State Department officials say Brownback had told both them and U.N. refugee chief Ruud Lubbers that he was “interested in resettling more refugees in Kansas.” State began exploring the feasibility of resettling the Bantu in Wichita, Kansas.

According to Chris Renner, Program Director of the Kansas Board of Education, the Senator was the catalyst of the resettlement plan and “to make a long story short, he … lent his support to the resettlement of this population in Kansas.”

But apparently Kansas did not like the resettlement proposal any more than Maine and Massachusetts do. And after 9/11, Brownback announced a change of heart. He said on Oct 12, 2001

“I oppose any resettlement of Somali Bantu refugees in the State of Kansas…. Our office has contacted the Department of State asking them to not resettle any Somali Bantus in Kansas….Simply put this should not occur”.

When asked about his support for Sudanese refugees previously resettled in Kansas, he said “they know English. They're very pro-American." The Bantu, on the other hand, "would not work well in Kansas" according to the Senator.

(Now remember, this is the Senator who has no problem appearing on the same dais, spouting the same message, as La Raza.)

"I never requested 10,000 Bantu to be placed in Kansas," Brownback said. "That's a huge population for a state of our size."

Thus ended the initial attempt to resettle the refugees. Now they will be scattered in towns across America.

Sam Brownback’s change of heart was chronicled in a local paper but never picked up by the national media. In fact, according to Rob Roberts, a reporter who worked on the story for The Johnson County Sun, the Senator did everything to make sure both his original welcome of the tribe and his subsequent retraction of the invitation were forgotten. [“Brownback clarifies position on refugee issue: No Bantu” By Rob Roberts, Johnson County Sun, October 17, 2001]

Hence the New York Times could report on a community that “refugee experts” declined to name, leaving behind what should have been a great story of hypocrisy in high places and—always a favorite media theme—a “town without pity.”

Especially in light of the media’s treatment of Holyoke and Lewiston, it is interesting that the newspaper of record could let another community’s successful protest go unexamined.

But Brownback was allowed to slip back into refugee cheerleading. Without so much as a hint of shame, he was soon chiding Florida for not taking more Haitian rafters. And, along with soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, he signed a September 27, 2002 letter to the President urging the U.S. to accept at least 100,000 refugees annually.

This letter claimed that “members of religious minorities from the former Soviet Union” and “refugees from Vietnam and Cuba also continue to warrant our attention.”

As long as they don’t settle in Kansas?

Sam Brownback remains the “go-to” guy whenever the media needs a pro-immigration sound bite from the right. In a recent New York Times article advocating resettlement of more refugees to the U.S., he said “I don’t think we’re providing the example to the world we should…. We need to be willing to step forward as an example”. (Since Attacks, U.S. Admits Fewer Refugees, Oct 30, 2002, By Christopher Marquis).

He ought to know.

Most importantly for the refugee industry, Brownback is sponsoring the Refugee Protection Act along with Senator Patrick Leahy - a bill which will unleash a tide of bogus asylum seekers in the U.S.

Parts of the Refugee Protection Act had even been slipped into the Homeland Security Bill—more evidence of the refugee industry’s sense of humor. But they were removed in the final weeks before passage.

This bill should really be called the People Smugglers Dream Act. The New York Times is leading the charge in support of its passage. (See its editorial, Dec 28, 2002 “The Welcome Mat Frays”)

Perhaps this is why Senator Brownback gets a free pass - and the mayor of Lewiston is portrayed as an ignorant provincial.

The plain fact is that the refugee industry and its shills are allowed to operate with total immunity from honest press coverage. . . .

31 posted on 12/05/2006 9:59:06 AM PST by Howard Jarvis Admirer (Howard Jarvis, the foe of the tax collector and friend of the California homeowner)
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To: meg88
Santorum and Allen would have had a hard time running for prez if they were re-elected. And Brownback is no Santorum or even an Allen. Brownback just doesn't have the charisma or the political smooths to run the gauntlet of a hostile libmedia in a national campaign. He doesn't have the money, he doesn't have the inside GOP machine connections.

He should be focusing on 2012 or 2016. He's not that old or that experienced to run for prez from the Senate, a tough game no matter who you are.
32 posted on 12/05/2006 10:07:43 AM PST by George W. Bush
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To: Howard Jarvis Admirer

Great tagline.

Brownback is very pro-immigration.

At this moment, I'm not sure who is better on other conservative issues and on immigration as well, who has no skeletons in his closet, and has more integrity.

I like Brownback so far. Who do you like?

33 posted on 12/05/2006 10:09:44 AM PST by karnage
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To: karnage

As I stated above, Duncan Hunter is the best of the bunch - but the mainstream media doesn't want to talk about him. I know that I won't vote for McCain ever.

Also, to rephrase your statement, Brownback is very pro- immigration as long as the immigrants are not dumped in his home state of Kansas. He will turn your town into a ghetto, but not towns in Kansas. Nice guy, eh?

34 posted on 12/05/2006 10:17:44 AM PST by Howard Jarvis Admirer (Howard Jarvis, the foe of the tax collector and friend of the California homeowner)
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To: Howard Jarvis Admirer

No, they will just betray what they said during their campaigns with some phony call for bipartisanship to provide cover. I will be shocked if amnesty isn't a done deal before the 2008 elections. Oh they might call it something else, but it will be amnesty.

35 posted on 12/05/2006 10:19:48 AM PST by The Ghost of FReepers Past (Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light..... Isaiah 5:20)
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To: KantianBurke

Not so sure what this rhetoric means. If he wants to discuss theology, then he needs to be clearer.

36 posted on 12/05/2006 10:20:23 AM PST by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: MadIvan
Furthermore, I don't have enough data to suggest how well he would do against Hillary.

1996, the last time a Kansas Senator ran against a Clinton, would probably be a fair reference.

37 posted on 12/05/2006 10:27:01 AM PST by Vigilanteman (Are there any men left in Washington? Or are there only cowards? Ahmad Shah Massoud)
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To: meg88

Brownback can go brown his back in Hell. No open borders traitor like him deserves any elected office, much less the "conservative mantle."

38 posted on 12/05/2006 10:45:20 AM PST by Map Kernow ("I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just..." ---Thomas Jefferson)
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To: The Ghost of FReepers Past
"He is a compassionate conservative. He believes it is the government's job to clean up the messes people make of their lives. I strongly disagree. That idea always leads to socialism, and it is a denial of the core of human nature -- a sin nature. It is because of that nature that we must build a true freedom that leaves a strong connection between sowing and reaping, or cause and effect if you like that terminology better."

I will NOT vote for any candidate that supports the notion of top down, government directed social engineering. This is simultaneously an economic and a social issue and, in my eyes, is the defining issue of what in means to be a modern American conservative.
39 posted on 12/05/2006 10:52:10 AM PST by rob777 (Personal Responsibility is the Price of Freedom)
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To: karnage

Hopefully. I am certainly open to that possibility.

40 posted on 12/05/2006 10:56:49 AM PST by alarm rider (Not a democrat, not a republican, not a "libertarian".. A CONSERVATIVE.)
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