This story from the Des Moines Register is interesting in light of Senator Brownback’s repeated claims that he is the “true conservative” in the race. As we have said before, that point is debatable, and now the senator is apparently promising to govern based on a “bipartisan consensus.” So he’s the true conservative but his policies won’t be?
Well, read for yourself. His comparison of himself to Senator Obama is also interesting:
Cedar Rapids, Ia. — Kansas senator and presidential hopeful Sam Brownback said today he would focus his campaign on issues that have a bipartisan consensus, a break from his trademark social conservatism.
“The political discourse automatically goes to the most difficult issues and then we can’t talk about them,” said Brownback, in Iowa for the first time since announcing his bid Jan. 20. “I’d rather work on a core set of issues that we can agree on.”
Laws against human trafficking, climate change and poverty were issues Brownback identified as consensus builders.
Brownback, a 50-year-old from Topeka, Kansas, also voiced support for a diplomatic rather than a military solution in Iraq and called for a three-state, one-country solution in the country.
Among a small group of GOP senators supporting a symbolic resolution against President Bush’s plan to ship additional troops to Iraq, Brownback said he instead favored embedding more of the U.S.’s current troops with Iraqi forces until they could gradually withdrawal.
“We need them to start pulling some of their own,” said Brownback, who returned two weeks ago from a trip to Baghdad, where he met with Iraqi and U.S. military officials.
He gave no specifics as to how long troops in Iraq would need to remain before the country was stable enough for the U.S. to leave.
While still a dark horse in a crowded field of Republicans, the former U.S. representative, elected to the Senate in 1996, said given time to meet the voters and discuss the issues, he could prevail.
“Did you know who Barack Obama was at this time a year ago?” he said. “I think I will be in that spot once the voter contact is made.”
Brownback also was scheduled to meet with Republican supporters tonight at a campaign event for Dan Abolins, a Republican candidate for Linn County auditor.
He has visits to Michigan, Florida and South Carolina — states that come early in the primary process — also scheduled this week.