Republican senator Sam Brownback announced his bid for the presidency in early 2007, after spending the night in the Louisiana State Penitentiary to promote faith-based prison programs. He withdrew from the race on Friday, October 19. Brownback talked with Christianity Today before speaking at United for Life's annual banquet in late September.
What you would do for prison reform if you were elected?
I put quite a bit [about my plan for prison reform] in a bill called the Second Chance Act. The thrust of it is to build relationships with men and women in prison, so that when they get out, they don't commit the crime again. Our target is to cut recidivism rates in half in five years. The key way to do that is with faith-based initiatives that work with the soul and then build relationships so that when [prisoners] get out, they won't go to the same old group of friends who helped drag them down.
Do you see abortion as a significant part of this campaign?
I see it as the lead moral issue of our day, just like slavery was the lead moral issue 150 years ago.
Why do you think evangelicals are not rallying behind you in light of your pro-life stance?
There's a combination of things. One is that I am not as highly visible as some of the other candidates. Second, we haven't raised the amount of funds that some of other candidates have. I think there is a general position on our side that people are watching and waiting. They're waiting to see the candidates run for a while before [they] decide. It is very early. Some people are tired, just of politics, saying, "I'm just weary."
At what point would you withdraw from the race?
I'm not going to. I have said we need to finish in the top four in the Iowa caucuses. We just haven't gotten hardly ...