- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 20, 2007

TOPEKA, Kan. - Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., began a long-shot bid for president on Saturday, hoping his reputation as a favorite son of the religious right can help him outdistance better known rivals.

“My family and I are taking the first steps on the yellow brick road to the White House,” Brownback said, returning to his home state to declare his intention to seek his party’s nomination in 2008.

The two-term senator said he will fight to renew the nation’s cultural values and pledged to focus on rebuilding families.

“Search the record of history. To walk away from the Almighty is to embrace decline for a nation,” Brownback said. “To embrace Him leads to renewal, for individuals and for nations.”

Brownback laced his speech with the themes that have made him the leader of the GOP’s conservative wing and a strong spokesman in Congress for socially conservative Christians.

A fierce foe of abortion, he planned to return to Washington to participate in an anti-abortion rally Monday marking the 34th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that established a nationwide right to the procedure.

Brownback also opposes embryonic stem-cell research and gay marriage.

In his announcement, Brownback said the country needs to support the traditional definition of marriage as a union of one man and one woman and said most Americans “feel deeply in their hearts” for “a culture of life.”

He called for judges “who want to be judges, not legislators.

“Life is beautiful. We all know this,” he said. “Let’s start following our hearts and work to protect all innocent life.”

He pledged never to sign a tax increase if elected president and proposed scrapping the current income tax law.

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