Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Sen. Sam Brownback's Politics of Faith

Sam Brownback was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996 to fill a seat left vacant by Majority Leader Bob Dole.
Elizabeth Tannen, NPR
Sam Brownback was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996 to fill a seat left vacant by Majority Leader Bob Dole.

When he was in college at Kansas State, Sam Brownback was asked at job interview about his life's ambition. "To be president of the United States," the student told his future boss at the university radio station.

These days the U.S. senator is being talked about as a potential presidential contender two years from now.

When asked if he still wants to run for the White House, the Kansas Republican replies: "I am interested and I have been encouraged." But, he says, "I think the environment is not yet set. I think these things are about the right person, the right message, the right moment all coming together. I think that's pretty hard to see for 2008 right now."

Brownback is an interesting political creature. Even for an age of rampant public piety, he is extremely religious. And his faith takes him to some surprising positions. But for all that, he says, his politics are familiar.

Here's how he describes his political philosophy: "I'm a Ronald Reagan conservative, I'm an economic conservative, I'm strong military. But I also voice and speak and work hard on the social issues. I am pro-life. I believe in the sanctity of marriage. I think the real needs in the country are for cultural renewal."

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit

Robert Siegel
Prior to his retirement, Robert Siegel was the senior host of NPR's award-winning evening newsmagazine All Things Considered. With 40 years of experience working in radio news, Siegel hosted the country's most-listened-to, afternoon-drive-time news radio program and reported on stories and happenings all over the globe, and reported from a variety of locations across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia. He signed off in his final broadcast of All Things Considered on January 5, 2018.
Become a sustaining member for as low as $5/month
Make an annual or one-time donation to support MTPR
Pay an existing pledge or update your payment information