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.