As conservative activists gather in Washington Friday, Sam Brownback, the man whom Rolling Stone deemed "God's Senator," announces his withdrawal from the presidential race on Friday at 4:45 pm ET in Topeka KS.
Brownback, running on a "pro-life, whole life" platform, had not exceeded the low single-digits nationally nor in any individual state, save his home state of Kansas, where he ran evenly with Mitt Romney in a survey last May, ABC News Polling Director Gary Langer reports. In the most recent ABC News/Washington Post national poll, Brownback had one percent and in early states, his latest were two percent support in Iowa, less than one percent in New Hampshire and one percent in South Carolina.
Back in Washington, the Republican presidential field addresses Tony Perkins' Family Research Council Washington Briefing: Values Voter Summit.
The summit gives the candidates another opportunity this week to position themselves as the real Republican and true conservative in the field.
Rudy Giuliani sits out tomorrow's sessions but on Saturday morning he is likely to face an audience suspicious of his record of social issues.
Last week, Perkins told reporters that many social conservatives see Giuliani and Hillary Clinton as "indistinguishable" on social issues like abortion and that even the possibility of a Clinton presidency is not enough of a motivator for those voters to throw their support to Giuliani.
"You don't beat a liberal with a moderate," Perkins said. "People are not going to get excited about Giuliani."
Perkins was part of a meeting of conservative leaders last month in Salt Lake City that discussed their willingness to consider supporting a third-party presidential candidate if the Republican nominee is a supporter of abortion rights, like Giuliani.
Giuliani may be able to recycle a line he used in his NRA speech last month: "Like I have said many times, my 80% friend is not my 20% enemy. There probably isn't a group in America that I can go before where there aren't some disagreements with that group. So they are going to decide ultimately who they support, either as a group or individually."
Morning Session: 8:45 am ET to 12 pm ET
- John McCain
- Sam Brownback
- Fred Thompson
Afternoon Session: 2:00 pm ET to 5:30 pm ET
- Duncan Hunter
- Newt Gingrich
- Ron Paul
Evening Session: 7:30 pm ET to 9:30 pm ET
- Mitt Romney
- Tom Tancredo
On the campaign trail…
--2:15 pm ET: Visits with local residents, Versailles Restaurant, Miami, FL
--8:45 am ET: Holds a Page County "Ask Mitt Anything" Breakfast, Shenandoah, IA
--11:00 pm ET: Visits Treynor High School, Treynor, IA
--12:00 pm ET: Holds a Pottawattamie County "Ask Mitt Anything: Luncheon, Council Bluffs, IA
--7:30 pm ET: Addresses the Family Research Council's "Washington Briefing: Values Voter Summit", Washington Hilton, Washington, DC
--8:45 am – 12:00 pm ET: Speaks at the Values Voter Summit, Hilton Hotel, Washington, DC
--5:15 pm ET: Media avalability, Miami International Airport, Miami, FL
--6:30 pm ET: Attends Fundraising Reception, Miami, FL
--11:10 am ET: Speaks at the Family Research Council's Washington Briefing 2007: Values Voter Summit, Hilton Hotel, Washington, DC
--9:45 am ET: Speaks at the FRC Values Voter event, Washington Hilton, Washington, DC