Archive for Thursday, December 14, 2006

Roberts backs McCain - not Brownback - for president

December 14, 2006

Well. This could make for some awkwardness at Kansas GOP meetings.

A new piece from conservative columnist Robert Novak says Sen. Pat Roberts has picked his favorite candidate for the GOP presidential nomination.

And it ain't Sen. Sam Brownback, Roberts' fellow Kansan.

Novak reports:

"Some 30 invited corporate representatives and other lobbyists gathered at the Phoenix Park Hotel on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning to hear two senior mainstream Republican senators pitch the 2008 presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain. They were selling him to establishment Republicans as the establishment's candidate. Nothing could be further from McCain's guerrilla-style presidential run in 2000 that nearly stopped George W. Bush.

"Invitations to Tuesday's event were sent by Trent Lott, the newly elected Senate minority whip. Over coffee, Lott and Sen. Pat Roberts pushed McCain, though neither previously was seen as a McCainiac.

"A second surprise at the coffee hour was the appearance at Lott's side of Roberts, even though his fellow Kansas senator, Sam Brownback, also is running for president. Roberts noted that in his Tuesday remarks, but asserted McCain is the right man in the right place at the right time."

No word on Brownback's reaction.

Other headlines today:

(AP) Roberts leaving, Bond to be ranking member on Intelligence panel: Sen. Kit Bond of Missouri was named vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday after fellow Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas announced he was leaving the panel. Roberts chaired the committee for the past four years, during a time of bitter public squabbling with Democrats about its investigation into prewar intelligence on Iraq. Had he stayed on, Roberts would have become vice chairman of the panel in January after Democrats take control of the Senate. Instead, Roberts is gaining a seat on the Senate Finance Committee, which he said would allow him to work on issues "important to the daily lives and pocketbooks" of his constituents." "I just think it will allow me to have more influence and a strong voice on such a wide range of issues that affect everybody, from your taxes to your health care to medicare or Social Security and trade," Roberts said in an interview.

(Dow Jones) US Senators: Will Oppose S. Korea Trade Pact Without Beef Trade: Seven U.S. senators pledged Wednesday that they will work to block a free trade agreement being negotiated between the U.S. and South Korea if South Korea refuses to pull back restriction on U.S. beef exports. Independent of the free trade agreement negotiations, South Korea agreed to ease its ban on U.S. beef in September, but the country has blocked three separate U.S. shipments because inspectors found bone fragments. The seven senators, in a Dec. 13 letter to U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, urged them "to suspend all negotiations with South Korea until exports of U.S. beef resume and both countries agree on reasonable and fair bone tolerance levels for future shipments. Anything less will result in our opposition to a free trade agreement with South Korea." Sens. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Norm Coleman, R-Minn., Pat Leahy, D-Vt., Craig Thomas, R-Wyo., Kent Conrad, D-N.D., and Jim Talent, R-Mo., signed on to the letter.

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