Sam Brownback endorses Rick Perry for president

09/23/2011 12:00 AM

09/23/2011 6:49 AM

TOPEKA — Gov. Sam Brownback endorsed Texas Gov. Rick Perry for president on Thursday, citing Perry's record on creating jobs and reducing taxes.

"Rick Perry is the right leader for this moment in history," he said in a prepared statement.

"I think he's really got the right message that it's about jobs, it's about job creation and it's about getting the atmosphere right," Brownback said. "They've maintained and created a very positive, growth-oriented atmosphere in Texas that we've got to get back to in the United States."

Perry's campaign issued a statement calling Brownback "one of the most respected voices for conservatism in the country." Perry noted Brownback's record in Congress as a fiscal conservative who pushed for lower taxes and balanced federal budget.

"It's great to have his support," Perry said. "I'm glad that he trusts me to get the job done as the next president."

Brownback planned to attend Thursday night's GOP debate in Orlando, Fla. The Perry campaign will pay for Brownback's travel expenses.

Brownback's link to Perry became national news last month when Brownback attended a national prayer rally called the Response at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Perry had invited all of the nation's governors, members of Congress and the Obama administration. Brownback was the only governor besides Perry to speak at the rally, although Florida Gov. Rick Scott provided comments on a recorded video.

Brownback, who paid for his travel expenses, read two passages from the Bible, Matthew 5:3-16 and 2 Chronicles 7:13-14, and offered a prayer during the event, according to the Kansas City Star.

Brownback, whose name has been mentioned as a potential vice president or secretary of state, shook off the notion that he was endorsing Perry to earn a spot in a potential Perry administration.

"No, thank you. I'm very happy with what I'm doing right now and fully occupied," Brownback said.

Brownback said the timing was right to endorse Perry as the first presidential primaries approach in early 2012.

"Often these things are settled by the time the third state votes, not always. I think he's the right person that can move through and win the primary and win the general," he said.

He said didn't know how much time he would devote to campaigning for Perry. Brownback is the latest Republican governor to back Perry, following Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Brownback is in his first term as governor after serving in the U.S. Senate. He briefly sought the 2008 GOP presidential nomination.

In his first nine months in office, Brownback has frequently said that Texas has been able to lead the nation in job growth and suggested that Kansas should consider similar policies to reduce spending and lower taxes on businesses.

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