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Brownback says Romney focused too much on the economy in failed White House bid


Visiting Arkansas today, Gov. Sam Brownback said that unsuccessful Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney focused too narrowly on the economy and that the GOP must stick to its opposition to gay marriage and abortion.

His comments were made in Little Rock, Ark., to a reporter for The Associated Press before Brownback spoke to about 500 people gathered for a fundraiser for the Arkansas Republican Party.

"You can't just talk all about economic terms," Brownback said. "You've got to talk about terms to the heart." He said of Romney: "I think he would have been better off talking about the social issues more. (President Barack) Obama talked a lot about social issues. If people don't hear you talking about them, they don't think they're necessarily that important to you."

On abortion, Brownback said: "If you believe this is a life, how do you not fight for a life? If you make that determination that this is a life, this is a sacred life, you have to fight for it or what does that say about what you're willing to allow? Much of it transcends politics."


always_correct 4 years, 11 months ago

Haha... what? Brownback and/or his strategists are dense. Politicians who make statements like this are exactly who the GOP should be -- and signs point that it is -- weeding out. Obama is serving the Presidency up on a plate for the GOP if it just gets rid of its antiquated views on social issues.

chootspa 4 years, 11 months ago

True. The GOP is doing the same when anyone gets a good look at the economic issues, too. Doubly so for Brownback.

However, this has always been Brownback's position. He thinks (and may well be correct) that as long as he bans abortion enough times, he can do whatever he wants with his economic policies.

grimpeur 4 years, 11 months ago

Just in case anyone is still wondering what's the matter with Kansas. Exhibit A--our governor.

costello 4 years, 11 months ago

I suspect people are waking up to the fact that their economic policies don't work. That leaves the social issues. People are less likely to change their views when it comes to things like abortion. So sticking with that issue - and blurring the whole tax cuts for the rich thing - seems like a good strategy.

ksjayhawk74 4 years, 11 months ago

The GOP is so sick and twisted that anyone who is a little moderate is called a RINO (Republican in name only). Christie, Rubio and Jeb Bush all get called RINO now and they're the GOPs top 3 contenders for 2016.

grimpeur 4 years, 11 months ago

Romney was not the inventor of government-mandated health care in this nation or any other. I sincerely doubt he recognized, understood, or cared about the government's compelling interest in the health of its own citizens, but he certainly saw an opportunity to funnel more money to insurance companies and other paper-shuffling non-producers. In that regard, his plan was similar to to today's ACA. If our country would shift from employer-based pools to a national pool, we'd be making progress, but that's a fundamental shift that is unlikely as long as we allow the general welfare of Americans to be subverted by profit motives.

As for items 2 - 4, you're correct.

somebodynew 4 years, 11 months ago

"If you believe this is a life, how do you not fight for a life?

If you believe that, then how do you justify not fighting for that 'life' after it is born. You sit there all high and mighty, yet at the same time you cut and slash all the programs designed to help maintain that 'life' after it is born. It is not the rich the anti-abortion laws effect - they will always have options.

Just part of the reason I have no use for ultra religious types - no matter what religion.

rtwngr 4 years, 11 months ago

@somebodynew - Because 1) It isn't about religion, it's about life. 2) If there is no right to life then all other rights cease to exist. One must first have the right to life for all other rights to follow. Think about it.

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

It's clearly about religion, when religious belief is the foundation for the idea that "life begins at conception" and the resulting attempts to outlaw abortion.

And, that's fine, but why do so many who are passionately anti-abortion then follow that with policies which don't help folks once born? If you really care about human life, then you care about it after it's born as well as before that time.

verity 4 years, 11 months ago

Because they don't really care about human life?

I've always suspected that it's about sex and the assumption that abortions follow from out-of-wedlock sex that is the real issue. All the rest is just made up stuff to justify their stand. Otherwise, why would they feel the need to make laws to force doctors to lie. When you have to lie, you obviously have nothing.

Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 11 months ago

verity, there are those who are opposed to abortion, who believe that horrible things can go wrong during the formation of the baby that would necessitate ending the pregnancy instead of forcing the distraught mother to go though this horror for longer than necessary, who yet do care for all life long after birth and who serve not only our community but others.

verity 4 years, 11 months ago

Yes, what you say is true and I know you are one of those who do and I respect your beliefs. However, there are far too many who seem to believe as jafs and I have stated and are using religion to justify what they do. Abortion is certainly one of those things that reasonable people can disagree on, but too many times the supposedly pro-life people just make stuff up.

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

I tend to think it's more about being right than about caring.

That would explain the passion, but also the lack of follow through on policies that affect already born people.

rtwngr 4 years, 11 months ago

That has to be the most obtuse statement that has ever been made, Jafs. Life beginning at conception has nothing to do with religion. It is a medical fact. Once an egg is fertilized with a sperm, it becomes a human. The circulatory system, neurological system and DNA are unique to it. This is taught to a medical student in their first year.

To argue that the same people that care about the unborn do not care about the indigent is just as ridiculous. How they are assisted can be argued. My idea of assisting may not align with yours but to say we don't care is not being intellectually honest as well.

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

So, your "pro life" stance has nothing to do with your religious beliefs? Really?

Please provide some examples of how you care about people once they're born, since you oppose many social programs and policies designed to help them.

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

By the way, I did some research, and it's by no means true to say that "science" has declared human life to begin at conception.

Unsurprisingly, sites connected to religions claim that, but there are other sites with different views.

I suppose my statement was a bit imprecise - the fact is that sperm and egg are alive too, even before conception. The real question is when a separate human life exists, and there's a lot of disagreement about that.

To give you some ideas of the kinds of policies I mean:

Medicaid Low income housing Help with funding for education Public education Increased minimum wages Requirements for employers to provide benefits Labor unions

Many on the right are consistently opposed to all of these, and others that are likewise oriented towards helping people once they're born. That's why it seems to many of us that "pro life" doesn't really mean "pro life", it means "anti abortion".

verity 4 years, 11 months ago

The belief that life begins at conception is a faith-based belief. There is nothing scientific about it. It is purely a construct used to try to outlaw abortion.

I've asked before and received no answer. Is a fetus a citizen? Is it included in the census?

If life does indeed begin at conception, why doesn't the fetus have the same rights as any human being?

Robert Rauktis 4 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, he should have stuck to non-substantive issues. Arguing the number of angels on the head of a pin or the color of God's dress always diverts the crowd. Since his party screwed the economy, it was hard to convince...even the average American...who can count ... that they were the ones to fix it. Or maybe he needs to start a war so he can finish it. Just make sure to choose the evil enemy wisely. We haven't been exactly kicking butt in away games over the past fifty years.

Michael LoBurgio 4 years, 11 months ago

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Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 11 months ago

Anyone remember the Goldwater campaign and the ad with the little girl picking daisies until the bombs go off? This is the same thing.

chootspa 4 years, 11 months ago

Well, not really, but you ARE right that the stakes are too high to stay home on election day.

Ken Lassman 4 years, 11 months ago

Please, please, please, GOP: put Brownback in charge of your national campaign strategy so that the Dems can be assured of another round in the White House!

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 11 months ago

KanCare, Brownback's only meaningful "achievement", devalues the lives of disabled Kansans by placing their care in the hands of insurance bureaucrats.

It does so in the name of economic growth.

So lives are only important when they aren't available as a sacrifice to the economy....

Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 11 months ago

I am on the Sunflower portion of KanCare and it is working quite well. I speak for myself and my experiences because that it what I am most familiar with. I expect others to do the same.

Alyosha 4 years, 11 months ago

Curious addition: "have a political agenda like those involved in the recent IRS scandals."

A) which plural "scandals" are you talking about?

B) if you mean the recent stories about groups being denied tax exemption apparently for political reasons, I assume you're referring to the progressive groups whose tax exempt status was denied? http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/21/business/advocacy-groups-denied-tax-exempt-status-are-named.html?_r=1&&pagewanted=all

Your premises are wildly wrong, and thus your conclusions ("government bureacrats [sic] making life or death decisions based on someone's political beliefs") are wildly wrong too.

Lastly, are you okay with corporate bureaucrats making life and death decisions based on someone's desire for monetary profit?

kernal 4 years, 11 months ago

Sounds like Brownhack is beginning his bid for the Repug Party Presidential candidate.

kernal 4 years, 11 months ago

Oh, and if Romney had wanted the job bad enough, he would have won.

ksjayhawk74 4 years, 11 months ago

Oh yea, he's running. I don't think he'll go very far in the primaries. The best he can hope for is being picked for VP.

fiddleback 4 years, 11 months ago

It's terrifying that this man, who is supposedly the 4th most unpopular governor in the country (http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/08/which-governors-are-most-vulnerable-in-2014/), might still win a second term next year.

Again, we ask ourselves how did Kansas end up with an electorate that would support not just one-party rule, but rule by that party's most extreme fringe, one that boldly flaunts destructively austere and regressive beliefs at every turn. It's hard to fathom that Sebelius was elected our governor a mere 10 years ago...


So is our geography our destiny when it comes to this devolution? As we look at the comparable immoderacy of OK and NE, and the surviving two-party balance in MO and IA, do we conclude that the every-man-for-himself bitterness will inevitably increase the further inland one lives? Our we doomed by our frontier roots? I pray not, and hope that generational turnover will relieve us of this reactionary scourge, but for now it seems amongst the most hopeless political imbalances in the nation.

To me, the only hope is that people like y'all are prepared to register as Republicans to give us a fighting chance of reclaiming this state from Sam next year. The statehouse is likely beyond the reach of restored sanity, but if the governorship can be recaptured by at least a moderate Republican, this devolution can be partially reversed or at least held in check.

verity 4 years, 11 months ago

Only if somebody runs against Brownback.

Also we've allowed the misinformation to run unchecked. People actually believe the lowered tax rhetoric, not realizing it's only for the top money makers.

fiddleback 4 years, 11 months ago

Yes, I'm waiting to see who actually challenges Brownback before I bother changing affiliations. But it's very frightening that not only do we have no known or foreshadowed candidates just over a year before the election, but that nobody well-known is even polling above him: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/02/26/4088318/brownback-approval-low-but-would.html

Hopefully his economic Koolaid will sour in at least a few more Kansans' mouths in the meantime. Rhetoric can only take Sam so far. When he has such unimpeded ability to implement his ideal supply-side dystopia, supporters will expect the growth he promised. It's just a matter of how long they'll give his experiment before they admit its failure.

verity 4 years, 11 months ago

Sebelius can't run again, Parkinson showed his true colors in the short time he was governor, Tom Holland didn't run much of a campaign and the other two are not exactly household names. I think the only thing that poll shows is that we are way past time to get a candidate out there. Name recognition will almost always win, especially among low information voters.

I'm wondering why Sandy Praeger or Paul Davis weren't included in the poll.

And, yes, you are right to be terrified of our current situation.

verity 4 years, 11 months ago

I seem to recall "It's the economy, stupid" having won the White House a few years ago. And we weren't hurting nearly as badly then as we are now.

verity 4 years, 11 months ago

LJW and Mazda, your annoying ad continually flashing at the bottom of the screen means I will never consider shopping Mazda. Annoying may get you attention, but attention is not always positive. Too much and I will quit reading your paper and giving you clicks.

kusp8 4 years, 11 months ago

I knew what Sam was going to say based off the headline. This is getting too easy.

bearded_gnome 4 years, 11 months ago

fewer people voted for Rommney than for McCane. Romney was viewed as yet another moderate, northeastern establishment republican; meaning that the base of the republican party didn't have a lot of investment in him. further, he'd been inconsistent in his mormon values. people wondered if he was truly prolife.

it wasn't a problem voting for a mormon, it was ifhe had been consistent with his values he'd gotten more support.

next time, I hope the establishment republicans learn their lesson.

bearded_gnome 4 years, 11 months ago

you all here in Lawrence can complain about Sam and the Kansas legislature all you want but they are in fact representative of the will of the majority of Kansans.

Orwell 4 years, 11 months ago

You can fool some of the people all of the time, etc.… especially if you have billionaires bankrolling your campaigns so they can line their pockets even more.

chootspa 4 years, 11 months ago

Or the majority of the ones who bothered to vote, anyway. (That wasn't the majority of Kansans, FYI.)

jafs 4 years, 11 months ago

Based on what?

Only 1/3 of the eligible voters in KS voted for Brownback.

Alyosha 4 years, 11 months ago

Your understanding of the meaning of "majority" is clearly deficient.

I think the word you're looking for is "plurality."

Garth Atchison 4 years, 11 months ago

I don't think forcing your religious beliefs on the entire country is a successful way to get elected to the presidency. Only a moderate is going to slip into office and even then, the party's extreme is going to make that unlikely--which is why you don't pander to extremists unless they are gullible. They need a wolf-in-sheep's-clothing to get their religious agenda a president's support.

Lefty54 4 years, 11 months ago

The quicker the GOP takes advice from Sam Brownback the quicker it becomes a permanent minority party headed for the dust bin of history. Keep talking Sam, keep listening GOP.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 11 months ago

The once fiscally prudent and socially responsible republican party is now dead. The GOP over the past 30 years was subverted by a right wing party and extreme christian fundamentalists. This overthrow of the GOP required a ton of money as republicans began to become victims of this extreme right wing takeover. Yes a ton of Koch money plus a ton of Walton family money(Wal-Mart) and a ton from the late Jerry Falwell sources of money. Jerry often boasted of this successful subversion.

When this new right wing party begins saying they want to give money back to the taxpayers they are likely not telling the truth. The first question taxpayers should be asking is "What will this cost me in terms of services?" Quite an appropriate question. For one thing the right wing wants to sell off state government to private industry which is risky business. Believe me there will be no money saved. Private industry is all about making generous profits to spend on CEO's,golden parachutes,shareholders,special interest campaign contributions all of which increase our cost of living handsomely year after year.

Does anyone really trust private industry taking over public education? aka privatization? Absolutely not. What this right wing party wants to do is defund state services till they cannot operate then come back and say "taxpayers don't have enough money to continue" = what a lie. Suddenly there are plenty of tax dollars available to private industry. Some governors are trying this reckless approach as we speak = dumb economics.

The answer? Stop voting republican because the big right wing money does not support republicans. This right wing party has no use for democrats or republicans therefore the money goes to right wing thinkers posing as the GOP. Don't vote GOP!!!!

Carol Bowen 4 years, 11 months ago

Our governor should spend more time on the economy starting with basic arithmetic.

Lefty54 4 years, 11 months ago

I hope and pray that it's Rubio and Brownback in 2016. Hillary might win 40 states. It will be a landslide of epic proportions. Run Sam run!!!

Liberty275 4 years, 11 months ago

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StirrrThePot 4 years, 11 months ago

"Visiting Arkansas today, Gov. Sam Brownback said that unsuccessful Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney focused too narrowly on the economy and that the GOP must stick to its opposition to gay marriage and abortion."

And I would rather have Romney as our state governor than Brownbackward any day of the week.

"From the land of Kansas, the new Mississippi"

JayhawkFan1985 4 years, 11 months ago

That's like saying the fire department was too focused on the burning house. But since brownbackward has burned down the Kansas economy with his slash and burn austerity and steal from the poor the fatten up the rich, I am not surprised by this colossuly stupid comment.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 11 months ago

Brownback sat in on these issues as well when in the Beltway....

--- This GOP ENTITLEMENT - Bailing out The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist aka home loan scandal sent the economy out the window costing taxpayers many many billions and millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. http://rationalrevolution0.tripod.com/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

--- This GOP ENTITLEMENT Bailing out the Bush/Cheney Home Loan Wall Street Bank Fraud cost consumers $ trillions, millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. Exactly like the Reagan/Bush home loan scam. Déjà vu can we say. Yep seems to be a pattern. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

--- This GOP ENTITLEMENT - Bush/Cheney implied many financial institutions were at risk instead of only 3? One of the biggest lies perpetrated to American citizens. Where did this money go? Why were some banks forced to take bail out money? http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/10/good_billions_after_bad_one_year

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 11 months ago

I hope Brownback and the republicans keep attacking abortion, gay rights, and women's rights. This strategy might work in Kansas and a few other states, but nationally it will doom them to defeat and irrelevance.

It stinks for the moderates in Kansas and these other low-population states that are credulous to snake oil salesmen, but nationally this strategy will ensure that the GOP will not hold the presidency.

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