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Kansas senator campaigns for McCain and Coleman in Willmar

WILLMAR -- With just 10 days until Election 2008, U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, visited Willmar Friday to talk about the economy and campaign for Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain and U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman.

Brownback stopped at the Republican Campaign Headquarters in Willmar Friday to tell local voters that McCain and Coleman needed the support of west central Minnesota.

"Your job is, you've got to drive your voter numbers up here," Brownback said. "Over the next few days, we need you guys talking to people...You've got to get your yard signs up and bumper stickers on."

Brownback, 52, has been a U.S. Senator since 1996 after winning a special election for a vacated seat. He also served two years as a Congressman and made a short bid for the presidency last year. His Senate term expires in 2010.

Brownback told the nearly 40 people attending they needed to hit the streets and start talking the issues with people before Nov. 4. He reminded them of how close the presidential race was and how crucial the 2008 election is to the future.

"If you talk about the issues, people agree with (Republicans) on the issues," Brownback said. "...This is the most powerful nation in the history of mankind and we've got problems and we've got a tough economy right now.

"If we get it right here, things move forward for us and the rest of the world. If we get it wrong here, it hurts everybody."

Brownback particularly emphasized that Coleman needed the support of Willmar voters because the U.S. Senate race with Democratic candidate Al Franken had grown closer.

"I just think philosophically he is well in-tune with Minnesota," Brownback said about Coleman. "He's an independent thinker, wants to grow the economy, wants less in taxes."

While talking about the economy, Brownback admitted he almost supported Congress' Oct. 1 bailout bill before voting no. Brownback said his suggested solution to the bank crisis included ways of stimulating the economy, cutting taxes temporarily and lowering tax rates for international companies that bring revenue back to the U.S.

Although McCain supported the bailout bill, Brownback said he does support McCain's basic theories on the economy. Brownback said he agrees that the government cannot tax when the economy is weak and cannot increase spending when the nation's budget has a deficit.

Those ideas, Brownback said, contrast the projected tax increases and an additional $1 trillion in federal spending proposed by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

"I think we're taxed to the max the way it is now, but that alone loaded on more, you're just going to drive more businesses out of the country and have a weaker economy," Brownback said.

Brownback has been traveling extensively over the last few days for the John McCain campaign. Prior to Minnesota, Brownback said he campaigned in Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. Brownback also stopped in St. Cloud and Litchfield Friday and plans to campaign in Iowa today before heading home to Kansas.