From NBC/NJ's Adam Aigner-Treworgy
WASHINGTON, DC -- After his Values Voters speech here, in which he called for all Americans to defend life at every stage, Brownback refused to confirm the news that he is dropping out of the presidential race this afternoon. "I'm headed back to Kansas and I'll be making an announcement there," he said.
The Kansas senator did acknowledge, however, that he is convinced the Republican Party will nominate a "pro-life candidate," and he feels that Giuliani does not fit the bill. "Governor Romney's certainly taken a pro-life position now," Brownback said to reporters after his speech. "We'll see if that's something that can persuade the American public. My criticism of [Romney] has been that you need someone that believes in the cause to persuade the American public, and if it's seen as switching on a lot of topics it's tough to persuade the American public. Mayor Giuliani has said he's pro-choice."
Brownback has been openly critical of Romney on the abortion issue, even going as far as to place automated phone calls to voters in Iowa criticizing the former Massachusetts governor for his inconsistent stance on the issue. Today, he confirmed that he does not believe the GOP will nominate Giuliani due to his pro-choice history, and that he feels that the party is divided because "we don't have an heir apparent for the first time in a couple of decades."
"This is a very logical place we would be at this point in time," Brownback said. "It's October of the year before. This is a lengthy courtship... Some of the other candidates, [faith] is less of a core issue. They're not opposed, but it's not the thing that gets them up and going in the morning.
"George Bush came to them as a man of faith, believed in the cause. He had a personal conversion that was pretty dramatic. And believed in the cause and this is kind of everything. And then he's got the resources and the name to drive it. I come to them with the cause, but I don't have the resources and the name. I guess I should change my name."
When asked if he would attend the GOP presidential debate this weekend, Brownback simply said, "Stay tuned." Brownback will hold a press conference in Topeka, KS at 4:45 pm ET.