Sam Brownback: 'The Poor Will Save Us'

The Republican senator says it just might take a religious revival to save America.

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It's the leading cause of fear in America today, is that you'll get cancer, and for good cause. One out of two men and one out of three women will get cancer in America. I'm like wow.

Why is it that more Republicans aren't perceived to share that same compassion?

I don't know. I think it's clearly the way forward for the party and for the country. I think it's the way forward for us globally, for a President to travel Africa and listen, and say, what is it we can do to help?

And they'll tell you real quick. You know, it'll be malaria, thank you for the AIDS for work. Very appreciative in Africa that malaria--we got 65 percent of our children having malaria. We need clean water. You know, it'd be pretty basic things that most Americans would say, I hear you. And it would make us better in the process.

I don't know, but, it seems that, clearly, the way forward for the party to keep from having a shrinking base is to really engage this compassionate conservative, or I refer to it as a bleeding heart conservative ideology, which has a huge following in the country.

It has been said that the most profound moral issue of our time isn't abortion but an economic system that oppresses the developing world, that helps ensure our wealth and their oppression. How do you respond to that?


Well, I would sure think about it. I don't know that I would agree off the top of my head. But, I would agree wholeheartedly that we're not doing everything that we can or should for the poor, and that hurts us.

The poor will save our souls. It's the story of Lazarus and the rich man.

I mean, and that story haunts me because it's a story about us today. You know, Lazarus is a poor man laid at the rich man's doorstep and even has sores that dogs lick. And the rich man walks out gaily by him every day, dressed in purple.

And he doesn't even give--and all Lazarus wants is the crumbs from his tables, and they both die. Lazarus goes to the bosom of Abraham, and the rich man goes to hell. And he says, Lazarus, help me out. Well, I can't.

And I just look at that, and I just go, if we just engage the poor, they'll save our souls. And that's what I look at when I see--and go into Africa or poverty situations here, or even in prisons, and you actually talk with people.

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Interview by David Kuo
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