Last week started out well for Republican Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas. He wrapped up his whirlwind bus tour of 27 Iowa towns, receiving positive headlines from local press.
On June 24, he was the featured speaker at a Barn Bash in Roland, Iowa, near Ames. The Team Brownback memo read: “Brownback will enter the event on a tractor and start the meal by taking the first slice off a whole, roasted pig. He will deliver remarks and meet with local supporters.” Save for the hog, it appeared to be a good time for all.
Then came the immigration bill.
On June 26, the Senate was to vote on whether to revive the immigration bill for debate.
The National Review, a conservative magazine strongly opposed to the bill, wrote that in order “to stop amnesty,” a certain group of senators would have to vote against cloture. Brownback was named among the senators.
“If any of these senators votes to revive the bill, his professions of opposition to amnesty should no longer be taken seriously,” the magazine warned.
Brownback “says he is against a pathway to citizenship and against amnesty. Brownback has shifted on the issue by taking a tougher position on amnesty than he did last year,” the National Review editorial read. “Whatever political good he did for himself by that change would be wiped out by voting for cloture — and help pass exactly the provisions he now says he opposes.”
Brownback voted to revive it. There are not enough words in this sentence to hyperlink to the barrage of criticism he received. He and his campaign must have felt it, because in the end Brownback voted “no” on cloture.
Team Bownback explained that the “yes” vote followed by the “no” vote was all part of the plan.
“I wanted to signal that I support comprehensive immigration reform, but now is not the time, this is not the bill,” Brownback told the Associated Press.
Regardless, the criticism didn’t stop. And to top it off, Hot Air, a conservative Web site, posted this scathing video by conservative pundit Michelle Malkin.
Hoping to move past the bill, Team Brownback now is back to its game plan: point out former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s flip-flopping on issues. An official press release Friday was titled, “Romney’s Shifting Stance on Agriculture.”