From NBC's Carrie Dann
GOP presidential hopeful Sam Brownback was very nervous for 11 minutes this morning. That's the time that elapsed between his initial "Aye" vote for cloture on the Senate's immigration bill today -- essentially an expression of support for the Bush-backed overhaul -- and a change to "Nay" before the vote was over.
Brownback likely recognized that a vote in favor of the bill, which is deeply unpopular among many Republicans who consider it "amnesty" for illegal immigrants, would not play well in the GOP presidential race or in a potential re-election bid in his native Kansas (he's up in 2010). He's supported the bill up until now, and voted to bring the measure to the Senate floor earlier in the week.
***Update*** At 2:10 pm ET, Brownback's Senate office issued a press release entitled "BROWNBACK VOTES AGAINST CLOTURE ON IMMIGRATION BILL," but it didn't mention he voted for the bill today before he voted against it. "We need comprehensive immigration reform, but the country is not accepting of this bill," Brownback stated in the press release. "We need to listen to the American people on both timing and substance. We need to help 'the widow and orphan and foreigner amongst us,' but must do so in a way and at a time the American people support. This is not yet the right way. We should let the topic rest for now while we work diligently to secure our borders. Americans support legal immigration, not illegal immigration. We desire to be compassionate but demand adherence to the rule of law."