The Brownback/Romney Rivalry

Posted: Apr 13, 2007 4:55 PM

You wouldn't know this by reading most blogs, but the most contentious political battle being fought right now isn't between Rudy and McCain, or McCain and Romney, but between Romney and Brownback ...

(The competitiveness between the two camps was visible to anyone who was at CPAC -- and it was confirmed to me by a senior Romney operative several weeks ago.)

While Romney's fundraising numbers demonstrate that he's in a different league than Brownback, rivalries  aren't always based on two sides being equal.  Look at the Cowboys/Redskins' rivalry, for example.  Quite often one of the teams is on top and the other team is struggling.  That doesn't stop them from clashing (and, I might add, usually the underdog wins).

So why do these two camps dislike each other?  It's a simple turf battle; Brownback's campaign believes Romney is a poseur on conservative issues -- and worse -- is getting Catholic support that should rightly belong to Brownback.  But money talks and while Mitt Romney is an excellent fundraiser, Sam Brownback is a pathetic one.

But if Brownback is hoping to prove he is more committed to the conservative cause than Mitt Romney, he can always point to this story, coming out of South Carolina:

... Romney declined to weigh in on a South Carolina proposal that would require women seeking an abortion to view an ultrasound. Instead, he said states should make their own abortion laws.

”I think the Roe v. Wade one-size-fits-all approach is wrong,” Romney said.

South Carolina is an early voting state dominated by conservatives who oppose abortion rights.

Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, also campaigning in the state, reaffirmed his support Thursday for legislation passed by the South Carolina House that would mandate the requirement.

Romney is arguing that it is a state's rights issue, while, you can be sure the Brownback folks don't see it that way.

It's got to be frustrating to believe that you are the most conservative candidate in the race, but not have enough money to get your message out.  Sam Brownback would do well to follow the advice of conservative icon Morton Blackwell, who has taught a generation of conservatives this principle: "Being right, in the sense of being philosophically correct, is not enough to win."