Opinion: On the way out, Brownback makes a prediction


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Conservative Republican Sen. Sam Brownback, who is expected this afternoon to become the third candidate to withdraw from the GOP presidential race, made one final appearance as a candidate today.

In Washington, at a ‘values conference’ held by the Family Research Council, Brownback received loud applause when he urged conservatives to continue to fight for their values. He then departed for Topeka, Kan., where he has scheduled a 3:30 p.m. Central time news conference. He spent the last day or so calling friends and supporters and telling them of his decision to give up.


Outside the Washington conference, Brownback spoke with reporters, including The Times’ Peter Wallsten. The senator offered a bold prediction: The Republican nominee, he said, will not be former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

When asked why, Brownback replied, ‘He’s not pro-life.’

Brownback said, as he had at the most recent Republican candidates debate, that he would campaign for his party’s nominee, but he was sure it would not be Giuliani.

The Brownback campaign never really took off. Though he diligently campaigned, often with his family, all across Iowa’s 99 counties, he never rose above a few percentage points in the polls (2% in the most recent state poll vs. Romney’s 29%), and finished a disappointing third in the symbolically important Ames straw poll in July behind Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee.

Altogether this year, Brownback raised $4.2 million, less than libertarian Ron Paul raised in the third quarter alone, when Brownback rounded up about $926,000. And he was far, far behind Romney’s $62 million and Giuliani’s $47 million. Brownback’s campaign has no debt, his recent FEC report indicated, and he had the option of accepting about $2 million in matching federal funds. But after forsaking fundraising the entire month of September to campaign intensely in Iowa, he has $94,000 cash on hand.

Brownback has said he will not seek Senate reelection and is rumored to be eyeing the Kansas governor’s office in 2010. He would be the third GOP presidential candidate to give up after former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore and former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, who has endorsed Giuliani.

-- Andrew Malcolm