Republican presidential candidate John McCain

Interview With Senator Sam Brownback, Part 2

Welcome to part two of our exclusive interview with United States Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), one of America's pro-life, pro-family, pro-traditional values leaders. In the first part, we got the senator's thoughts on how to win "red" states, the financial crisis, the Supreme Court and on Republican presidential candidate John McCain. In part two, we ask him about embryonic stem cell research, church leaders speaking out on public policy and politics, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (see new video), his friendship with Senator McCain and the pending new HHS medical provider conscience regulations. We hope you will enjoy part two and the entire interview. We are pleased to have brought it to you. Let us know what you think with your comments. 

familyfoundation.org: Senator McCain has supported embryonic stem cell research in the past. Catholic teaching opposes the destruction of embryos, which happens when the stem cells are extracted from them. Has his position on this made you uncomfortable at all in your support of him? Have new developments which make adult stem cells act as embryonic stem cells had an impact on his thinking? Also, since embryonic stem cell research has not yielded one medical breakthrough, while there have been dozens from adult stem cell research — how has all this affected Senator McCain's thinking on the subject, if at all?

Senator Brownback: I think with the new developments in stem cell research, we are reaching the days when embryonic stem cell research is rendered moot, and John McCain has repeatedly pointed out the successes in non-embryonic stem cell research.    

familyfoundation.org: Are the Catholic bishops correct in their outspokenness and in taking so bold a stand or should Church leaders of all faiths stay quiet on issues of governance? To what degree should Catholic and Christian voters look to their bishops and pastors for guidance in voting?

Senator Brownback: Church leaders should lead the Church. I leave it to their discretion how they choose to do that. 

familyfoundation.org: What did you think of the two presidential candidates' performances at Pastor Rick Warren's "Saddleback Forum"? What impressed and/or concerned you about some of their answers to Rev. Warren's questions?

Senator Brownback: I think John McCain proved, again, that he is the right candidate for values voters. Anyone watching the forum could see that John McCain will lead the country in the right direction. 

familyfoundation.org: How far did the selection of Governor Sarah Palin go toward bringing pro-life, pro-family voters back toward Senator McCain?

Senator Brownback:Governor Palin really energized the pro-life and pro-family base of the party. She has brought out huge crowds and has really amped up the excitement level. Governor Palin is a real-life example of values voters' ideals. She has a beautiful child with Down Syndrome, which is something to be celebrated. Eighty to 90 percent of women who find out their unborn baby may have Down Syndrome choose to end the pregnancy. Governor Palin has reminded us all that being pro-life and pro-family is something to be celebrated.     

familyfoundation.org: What did you know about her previously and what have you learned about her since that adds to your belief she'll make a great vice president?

Senator Brownback:Governor Palin is known as the most popular governor in America. And she brings critically important and historically relevant executive experience to the ticket. With 75 percent of this year's presidential and vice presidential candidates being male senators, it is remarkably valuable to have on the ticket a woman who has executive experience.    

familyfoundation.org: The Department of Health and Human Services is considering new rules on "Provider Conscience" regulations so medical professionals and hospitals who don't believe in abortion and other things contrary to their faith do not have to provide those services. What is the status of those proposals, do you think they will get approved and how will they be an improvement over the current rules? Does Senator McCain support these new proposed rules?

Senator Brownback: For more than thirty years, the letter and the spirit of federal law has required that medical providers not be discriminated against for refusing to perform abortions if they have moral or religious objections to abortion. The HHS regulations under consideration are intended to support this law against such discrimination. Like John McCain, I have defended conscience protection laws in the past. Medical workers should be free to choose to stay true to the Hippocratic Oath to "do no harm." 

familyfoundation.org: Senator Brownback, thank you very much for taking your valuable time to provide Virginians with your thoughts on these paramount issues concerning life and traditional values, when so many critical issues face Congress. We look forward to hearing from you again in the future.

Senator Brownback: Thank you, I enjoyed visiting with you. And for more information on John McCain, please go online to catholics.johnmccain.com or johnmccain.com/phonebank

Interview With U.S. Senator Sam Brownback, Part 1

Welcome to part one of our exclusive interview with United States Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS). In this first part, we get the senator's thoughts on how to win "red" states, the financial crisis, the Supreme Court and his thoughts on Republican presidential candidate John McCain. We hope you enjoy reading through this and leave us your comments. Part two will appear tomorrow. familyfoundation.org: Senator Brownback, thank you for taking our questions today. It is a real honor to have you appear on www.familyfoundation.org, as it were. We're not quite a year old, but already are one of the most read Virginia public policy and politics blogs, and we know thousands of voters are looking forward to reading this interview. You are the first federal office holder to do an interview with us and the first non-Virginia politician. Congratulations . . . a couple of career firsts you probably never expected. ; - )

Hope that doesn't add any pressure . . . are you ready for some questions?

Senator Brownback: I am ready for some questions, and I thank you for talking with me today. 

familyfoundation.org: What is at stake for pro-life, pro-family, pro-traditional values voters in this election?

Senator Brownback: Much is at stake for values voters in this election. For example, let's consider the courts. People need to look at each candidate and assess the type of judges he will appoint to the Supreme Court. John McCain will nominate conservative judges who will not legislate from the bench. I think values voters understand how important it is that the next president might nominate as many as 3-4 new justices to the Supreme Court. Who sits in the Oval Office may determine whether Roe v. Wade is finally overturned.    

familyfoundation.org: Are the stakes higher than normal given other significant issues, including the economy and the Wall Street financial crisis? Can you give us an outline as to how you think the final legislation will look when eventually passed? (Note: This was asked before the final votes in the House and Senate.

Senator Brownback: Negotiations over legislation to help ease the credit crunch are still on-going so I won't speculate on what the final package may look like. I will say that the stakes are always high when electing a new president. Each voter must be informed about the issues and truly understand the power of his or her vote. Our nation is facing financial hard times, and John McCain has proven over the years that he has the leadership experience to lead America through such difficult times. 

familyfoundation.org: Why do you think states such as Virginia, which normally are safe "red" states, are up for grabs this campaign?

Senator Brownback: I think we do ourselves a disservice when we think that any states are ‘safe.' Each election cycle, both parties need to actively demonstrate to the voters what they stand for and how they will help the county. I hope Virginians take a good look at the two candidates and recognize that John McCain really would best represent them, both in social policy and fiscal policy.    

familyfoundation.org: You are recognized as a prominent national leader in the pro-life movement. When you ended your own presidential campaign earlier this year, you soon endorsed John McCain. What is it about Senator McCain that makes you think he is the best man to be our 44th president?

Senator Brownback: John McCain has proven time and again that he is a great leader who always puts country first. He is a brave war hero, who even as a young man demonstrated a very strong sense of patriotism. And during his tenure in the United States Senate, John McCain has shown that he is a man willing to reach across the aisle and work with is colleagues on the other side. I've seen first hand John McCain's willingness to lead and stand up for what he thinks is right. All of these are very important qualities for the next president.     

familyfoundation.org: You are national co-chairman of Catholics For McCain. At one time, Senator McCain and some pro-life Christian leaders in Virginia didn't see eye-to-eye. Are pro-life Christians comfortable with Senator McCain now? Why should Catholics and other pro-traditional values voters vote for Senator McCain?

Senator Brownback: Pro-life voters should vote for John McCain because John McCain is pro-life. Unlike some who talk about promoting a culture of life, Senator McCain has the record to prove it. He has voted to confirm strong conservative judicial nominees like Justices Roberts and Alito.