Conservative leader discounts Paul win
October 10th, 2011
09:44 AM ET
3 years ago

Conservative leader discounts Paul win

(CNN) - The president of the Family Research Council characterized Rep. Ron Paul's weekend win in the Values Voter Summit straw poll as "an outlier."

Tony Perkins, who heads the social conservative group, said the Republican presidential candidate influenced the results by busing supporters to the event, proving his 37% support is not reflective of social conservative backing nationally.

"I think Ron Paul, when you look at everything is an outlier in this poll," Perkins said Monday on CNN's "American Morning." "You see Herman Cain finishing a strong second, followed by Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry. Those are more reflective I think of actually the other polls and what's happening in the social conservative community."

Paul, the longtime Texas congressman who is making his third bid for the White House, led the field of GOP candidates including former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain with 23%, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania with 16%, Texas Gov. Rick Perry with 8%, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota with 8%, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 4% and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 3%.

Thanks to strong support from his followers, Paul has come out on top in many of the most prominent GOP presidential nomination straw polls over the past two years. He won the Conservative Political Action Conference contest in 2010 and 2011 and the straw poll at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference earlier this year.

Perkins also connected the sentiments of the Occupy Wall Street movement with those of Paul supporters, over 700 of whom voted in Saturday's survey.

"We should not discount there's a lot of discontent with big ineffective government that's taking place in this country, and I think the Ron Paul campaign reflects that," Perkins said. "The message of his campaign is sending is something other campaigns have to listen to as well."

Romney won the straw poll during his last bid for the White House in 2008 and Perkins attributed his drop to decreased attention over values issues, despite articulating "those values this year" during his speech.

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soundoff (240 Responses)
  1. John Heathco

    That makes quite a few major straw poll wins for Dr. Paul. But remember, any straw poll that Paul wins MUST be rigged!

    Sorry MSM, Dr. Ron Paul is going to win this thing and the people are going to take this country back. Carry on with your attempts to discredit him – it's backfiring at this point.

    October 10, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  2. Mario

    Ron Paul ftw!

    October 10, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  3. Ben Silone

    I'm very disappointed with Tony Perkins and the FRC. They claim to promote honest Christians values, but when a candidate they don't support wins, they start throwing lies out to the media. Perkins first accussed Paul supporters of fixing the vote, which was quickly disproven. Now he is accusing Paul of busing supporters in to vote for himself. Well I was there Saturday morning. There were a lot of Paul supporters. Far more than I could tell for any other candidate. Waiting in lines, the talk around me was about Ron Paul. I did not see any buses anywhere, the crowd was largely urban based on appearance. So, based upon the evidence I saw, Paul legitimately won the poll. If Perkins can provide real evidence for his accusations, I would be more than happy to agree with him. As it is, I am ashamed of his response.

    October 10, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  4. Jeffery

    Gabriella Schwarz...lets think before we post.

    1. Who the hell is Jeffery Perkins...conservative leader? I think not. If so, send me the thousands of articles CNN has written on him in the past.

    2. So he thinks that Santorum beating Romney and Perry and Bachman is "Those are more reflective I think of actually the other polls and what's happening in the social conservative community."

    Statement Fail.

    3. Ron doesn't "bus" in people. People bus in for Ron. And i didn't realize you couldn't ride a bus to one of these events. I guess they all should have drove separately.

    4. "Thanks to strong support from his followers, Paul has come out on top in many of the most prominent GOP presidential nomination straw polls"

    So how else do you win a straw poll...with not having any supporters. You see, people vote for who they support. Tough concept I know.

    October 10, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  5. PK

    Tony Perkins illustrates that many in the GOP are still living in 1994. I am a Christian conservative. Ron Paul is far and away the candidate most aligned with Christian values. Ron Paul wants America to once again follow the Constitution, the rule of law which was established predominantly by Christians. He espouses a reformation of values back to the Constitution which embodies individual liberty and the responsibility which comes with it. He is, and always has been, pro-life. He has never voted to raise taxes. He is for limited federal government. He is against being the military police of the world (a long time conservative position). He is for sound money and spending within our means. Tony Perkins, you are way off on this one.

    October 10, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  6. DL

    ;you think cain-santorum-bachmann is the standard? in which other poll are those three ahead of perry and romney? lets face it..the FRC is out of touch with the rest of the conservative movement..As a side note, the Value Voters people did not hand out block tickets to campaigns...so everyone had to pay to get in, so if they want to have a beef with 600 supporters showing up at their conference, remember those 600 people paid at the very least 50 bucks to get in..so you made at least 30,000 off of them...may want to say thank you at some point...

    October 10, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  7. bill church

    There has been a concerted effort by the media to downplay RP's presence in the GOP runoff, much as there was when Dennis Kucinich in the Democrats primaries. This signifies to me that both candidates are true Americans who would shake the political foundation to its core. No more puppets. No more liars.

    October 10, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  8. LMB

    This is what I would say to Tony Perkins - I would email this to the Family Research Council directly, but it appears they have temporarily blocked all incoming emails on their "Contact Us" page. I can't imagine why.:

    I am a Christian, a stay-at-home mom, a homeschooler and a Ron Paul supporter. Ron Paul is no outlier in this election. If supporters of other candidates really cared about their candidate, they could have bussed in supporters, as well. But they didn't.

    As a Christian mom, Dr. Paul's message of peace and personal responsibility are what I want my children to learn. I don't want my kids to even know about someone like Rick Perry - a man who takes money from special interests and then stands up and lies about the details to the American people during a debate. I don't want a candidate who can be bought. And I don't want a President who starts lying BEFORE he even gets into office.

    Our family is supporting Ron Paul all the way to the White House - with or without Tony Perkins on board.

    October 10, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  9. FedUpWithLife

    Christian Conservative Values Voters For Abortion........Makes sense to me :)

    October 10, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  10. Comments4U

    Discredited because those who love him show up and vote. LOL Isn't this the point? Bachman is from Iowa, she bought and paid to bus in 4000 people from her home town. Paul provides Bus rides, but his supporters pay for the ticket. I paid for my ticket to travel across Iowa because it was more cost effective than spending $90 to drive my SUV. Paul supporters spend money wisely and don't expect their canidate to take care of them. You get the Government you want.

    October 10, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  11. Wes B.

    Paul isn't an "outlier" when he finishes at or near the top of every single poll.

    Also, Paul is the only staunch anti-war candidate on either side. Seems to me the "values voters" should like that. But they don't–because they're hypocrites.

    October 10, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  12. johnborg

    Tony Perkins is just not willing to believe that Americans, even conservatives, are fed up with war. Also, Tony, bombs are family values.

    October 10, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  13. Brian

    Of course they're discounting Paul's win, such a typical move of these status quo types. They have to discredit him as an outlier because they have a serious fear of him winning the nomination. Things will change with Ron Paul, and not in the Obama way of "change". And, those in control, on both sides, do not want real change.

    October 10, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  14. Larry

    What a hypocrite. He is basically saying, "he only won because so many people voted for him". Im sorry your favorite candidate didn't win but this isn't your own personal poll. The people chose Ron Paul and you should respect that.

    October 10, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  15. Bootcut

    Paul comes out on top because his supporters actually take the time to show up to here him. This way they get their candidates view direct from the candidate, before its had time to be twisted by the media, or not covered at all. Most of the other candidates supporters are arm chair supporters.

    October 10, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  16. Dan

    "Tony Perkins, who heads the social conservative group, said the Republican presidential candidate influenced the results by busing supporters to the event"

    Ron Paul doesn't "bus" in support (like other candidates have proven to do so), they come on their own accord. It's quite odd to see Paul get attacked for winning a significant poll (or completely ignored by a majority of major media outlets, as in his winning in California) and it's somehow discounted and not to be taken seriously, but when Cain won the Florida straw poll, it becomes national news.

    The real news story here should be how the supposed two "frontrunners" (as implied by the bias media) Mitt Ronmey and Rick Perry got blown out of the water here.

    October 10, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  17. rufus

    He's right. Paul IS an outlier. The others simply are not in his league. Nice try at marginalizing the only honest, principled candidate.

    October 10, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  18. GI Joe

    Look at that republican mouth.

    October 10, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  19. notswayed

    You are correct Ron Paul is an outlier in this campaign he certainly stands far apart from the candidates who are now trying to say the things Ron Paul has been saying for a long long time now. In your context of Ron Paul being an outlier seems a bit foolish, Romney and Perry leading the polls according to the media and now almost come in last seems to be a bigger outlier I would say, but since Ron Paul and Herman Cane did so well it sounds like more of the truth of what the people want. As far as busing in people I bet it’s safe to say the others did as well but could not get as many followers, or were the only people who showed up completely undecided, I think not.

    October 10, 2011 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  20. todd in DC

    Tony, we all know you are a closet case. Go back to telling people how to live their lives because you know SO much better than the rest of the world. Loser.

    October 10, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  21. Dale

    Straw polls are only important if Ron Paul doesn't win. This Perkins guy guy needs to be water boarded.

    October 10, 2011 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  22. Instead of Politics

    Real Christians don't vote for war and tyranny. They believe that God is love. Hopefully the religious right is coming around to Jesus' way of thinking – and leaving Constantinianism behind.

    October 10, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  23. roro

    This Tony Perkins reminds me of the other Tony Perkins. Both are psycho and want to kill. One his mother, the other our way of life and governance. If this guy had his way, we'd be a theocracy instead of a republic, and we'd go backwards socially and morally to a "women are second-class citizens" state. Heaven knows what he'd do to the gay community and our African American brethren. God help us!

    October 10, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  24. Brian

    These establishment republican types are shaking in their boots. Just wait until Ron Paul starts winning primaries. That won't matter either according to them. Look, Ron Paul 2012!

    October 10, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  25. Jacob Noble

    Typical pathetic media. When Ron Paul wins the poll means nothing, is discredited, he "buys" his votes. When a fraud like Romney, Cain or Perry win its a "GREAT" indication of who will win the GOP. Really pathetic and sad. It truly is.

    October 10, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
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