Ron Paul wins Values Voters straw poll

Oct. 8, 2011 at 10:32 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. Ron Paul won cheers from conservatives at the Value Voters Summit in Washington Saturday, and then topped his GOP presidential rivals in a straw poll.

Paul, R-Texas, drew cheers when he called for an end to U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The response to Paul, running a long-shot libertarian campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, appeared to come mostly from his supporters, The Hill suggested.

While they gave him repeated standing ovations and chanted his name, other members of the audience simply looked on.

"One of the greatest threats to the family is war. It undermines the family," Paul said.

Paul stressed his opposition to abortion and other themes likely to appeal to social conservatives. But he also said security measures put in place in recent years such as airport security checks suggest the government is out of control.

"Now you have no privacy whatsoever," Paul said. "We are living in an age where government is way too big."

When the straw poll was held, Paul was an easy winner, attracting 37 percent of the vote, well ahead of Herman Cain, who finished second with 23 percent. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum was third with 16 percent, The Hill reported.

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann polled 8 percent, as did Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney had 4 percent.

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