ABC News’ Jan Simmonds reports: Rudy Giuliani, R-N.Y., will meet with Senator Sam Brownback, R-Kans., on Thursday afternoon in Washington, D.C., according to campaign sources.
Brownback, the former presidential candidate who ended his candidacy last week, has long standing social conservative credentials whose endorsement would provide a huge boost to the Giuliani campaign. For months Giuliani’s candidacy has had to wade their way through harsh criticism from numerous social and Christian conservative leaders who feel Giuliani’s position on abortion rights alone should be a disqualifier in his quest for the Republican nomination.
In an interview with The Hill on Wednesday, Brownback said he would consider endorsing Giuliani because he believed the former New York Mayor had changed his position on partial-birth abortion and has pledged to appoint to the courts strict constructionists to the Supreme Court.
"I’m going to meet with him and I’m going to talk to him and hear what he is specifically saying now because he’s changed on a number of the abortion issues," Brownback told The Hill.
According to the interview, Brownback has asked for the meeting because he had heard indirectly that Giuliani is opposed to allowing women the right to late-term abortions. The Senator hopes to confirm those positions when they meet and hear directly where Giuliani currently stands on these issues.
This does not necessarily mean Brownback will endorse Giuliani if he hears the answers he is hoping for. Brownback, who has also reportedly met with Sen. John McCain, R-A.Z., since dropping from the race, told the newspaper that he hasn’t decided who he would endorse or when he would do so. He also clarified that he may very well not endorse anyone.
Last week, a top adviser Brownback adviser told ABC News that the Kansas Senator heaped praise on Giuliani and that an endorsement was a distinct possibility before the first votes are cast in the Republican presidential contest.
Shortly after we made that report Brownback spokesman Brian Hart told ABC News that the Senator "is not endorsing anyone today and he has no plans to endorse Mayor Giuliani at any time." Thursday’s meeting appears to be an indication that the door has not yet closed on a possible Brownback endorsement of Giuliani.