October 21, 2007
On Friday, at the beautiful Kansas State Capitol in Topeka, I announced that I am ending my bid for the presidency.
While I am saddened to leave the race, I can’t tell you how grateful and blessed I feel to have been a part of it. To think that the son of a farmer from Parker, Kansas (population 250) could run for the highest office of this great land tells you about the endless opportunities in America.
And I can’t thank you enough for being a part of it.
Now that our campaign is over, I am going to think of the thousands of supporters I met with across the country that gave me strength and carried me and our shared values forward throughout the race.
My campaign staff and volunteers often joke about how they could easily recite my campaign trail stump speech verbatim for the rest of their lives because they have heard it so many times.
Throughout my stump speech, which I am sure many of you heard especially if you’re from Iowa, I would always address issues and where I stand on them. But I always would end my stump speech centered around one key word: optimism.
Optimism, as defined by Webster’s dictionary: an inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome.
My friends, America is the greatest nation in the history of mankind because our founding principles declared both the dignity and liberty of man. And a sense of optimism is how we, as a party, can unite in order to move forward and tackle the tough issues facing our nation today.
I am optimistic that we, as a country, will unite to win the war in Iraq by moving forward with a bipartisan political solution that matches the honorable and valiant efforts put forward by our brave men and women in the military.
I am optimistic that our party will stand by its principles and nominate a candidate who will respect and embrace our deeply held conviction that every human life is sacred, including the unborn. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are the unalienable rights of man. But we must always remember: life comes first.
I am optimistic that our party will continue to work diligently to renew the culture, protect marriage, and rebuild the family as the foundational unit of society. And we must always remember that the separation of church and state was meant to protect the church from the state, not the state from the church. We must continue to embrace God in our nation, including in our schools and in the public square.
I am optimistic that our party will move our country forward with a bold 21st century using proven, pro-growth methods: axing the tax code, instituting personal social security accounts, and investing in proven technology to become energy secure.
I am optimistic that the Republican Party will nominate a candidate who can unite both wings of the party: both social and fiscal conservatives. My friend, if our party hopes to achieve success next year, we can only do so by flying on both wings — social and economic conservatism — not just one.
However, given how high the stakes are for our nation, sheer optimism is not enough. We must work for these values as a party.
Join me today in committing to build our party, but never to abandon our core principles.
And I can’t tell you enough: thank you. It has been a distinct honor and a blessing.
Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS)