Conservative leader discounts Paul win
October 10th, 2011
09:44 AM ET
11 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.

Also see:

Voters bid on the ties off candidates' necks

New website, old attacks on Romney

Jeffress: I’m not ‘Rick Perry’s Jeremiah Wright’

soundoff (240 Responses)
  1. Jason D

    Really, the other candidates would love to try and bus people in. Cain supporters were given $100 to vote for him.
    The Straw Poll wins just show the general momentum of various campaigns and their ability to organize. I would think that teh GOP would love to have younger blood in there but this is another sign that they don't want it and that the GOP is dying.

    October 10, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  2. jim dollinger

    figures. the establishment can't stand Dr Paul's success and downplays it at every opportunity. won't matter though, the people are lining up to join the r3VOLution.

    Ron Paul 2012.

    October 10, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. Ellie

    Tony Perkins CLAIMS that Paul supporters were "bused in".

    1) Is Perkins' opinion proof that that happened? (And does he mean, "They arrived at the summit in buses"?) 2) Did anything prevent the other candidates from busing their supporters in? (Could it be they just didn't have as many supporters as Paul?) 3) Everyone who voted in that poll had to pay about $75 to vote. If the other candidates couldn't motivate their supporters to go there and pay that much to vote for them, well...too bad.

    Ron Paul won it, fair and square.

    Perkins is unhappy that Paul won this poll, so to him Paul's decisive victory is immediately "unfair". And since Perkins, a self-professed social conservative, doesn't prefer Paul, obviously, in his mind, Paul's victory can't, and shouldn't, be attributed to social conservatives, because "REAL" social conservatives prefer the candidate(s) that Perkins does!

    October 10, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  4. Rj Russ

    One of the incredibly FEW times CNN even mentions the name Ron Paul, and it is to tell everyone about how him winning one of the most important straw polls in the conservative community......actually means nothing. And to think, there are still people who doubt the main stream media isn't trying to ignore Ron Paul and sway the public's opinion. GIVE ME A BREAK ! – Navy Supply Corps Officer for Ron Paul

    October 10, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. ThinkAgain

    I think he's right. Once conservative "value voters" (HA!) take a long look at Ron Paul's real values, they won't like him so much. Case in point: He named his son after a self-indulgent, sexually promiscuous, atheist (Ayn Rand) who believed that religion was for fools.

    October 10, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  6. Jim

    News flash, Republican establishment doesn't like Ron Paul. America is tired of the establishment and this is half the reason Ron Paul does so well.

    October 10, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. Larry L

    The term "social conservative" has come to mean "narrow-minded bigot" to many people. They want control over every private aspect of our lives – while claiming to want a smaller government. They are the American version of the Taliban, demanding Christian control of government and pushing America toward a 1950s society. Most are homophobic, offering irrational fears about the unraveling of the "fabric of American Society". When gay people marry nothing happens... no unraveling... nothing. They speak out against most thing related to science – stem cell research, global climate change, the teaching of evolution, and even the vaccination of children against disease. Historically, many societies have faced these same movements – where religion fought to defeat the enlightenment of knowledge. Being elected the "most socially conservative" is not a compliment.

    October 10, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. Jerry

    Tony, who got over 100,000 people to donate in the third quarter! Lets go by raw numbers and compare Ron to the other guys.

    October 10, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  9. Guest

    Haha, they're terrified of the support Ron Paul is gathering. I don't think he can win the Republican nomination, or beat President Obama, but I hope it heralds a stronger 3rd party. End the 2 party system!

    October 10, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. John

    I would never vote for Mitt Romney. I think he's arogant and has a bad temper. He is a rich CEO.
    I would rather vote for someone who is more down to earth like a regular person who understands
    regular people's problems.

    October 10, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. realitybites

    Not sure I disagree w/ Fundie here, being that Paul can't even decide is he's a Republican, Libertarian or a Democrat, he looks like a big flip flop to me w/ some rather "creative" views. A lot of the young voters who so love him are most likely exicited about hiis stance on the legalization of drugs. What I do have a problem w/ Tony's view is that he obviousely has no clue who the 99% are b/c he's not one of us. If he did, he'd know that it's not made up of a large # of Ron Paul supports, but a hungry, jobless mob of average people who don't like seeing politics bought and paid for and being controlled by big business and megachuch zealots claiming family values (we alreay know who you sold your sould to, Tony). And Seriously, I've seen fatter crack heads. Kinda reminds me of the preacher from Poltergeist currently governing Alabama. Get a clue and get on the bus and start practicing what you preach, you hippocrite. Your family values are about as Christian as Herman Goering's.

    October 10, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  12. CommonSense

    Wow. Talk about clueless. According to the polls, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney are the only candidates that can beat Obama. What on earth is this moron talking about?

    October 10, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  13. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    In a previous story, former senator Martinez of Florida endorsed Mittens because of the job situation in our state. Our criminal governor eliminated over 40,000 jobs, raided pensions, refused high speed rail money and that cost 50,000 more jobs. If Mel thinks Romney can fix the lack of jobs in FL when no other republican will, then I am glad he retired.

    October 10, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. ja

    ron paul is to old, with all due respect, america need to set an age limit

    October 10, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  15. tankrothchild

    You all are in for a big surprise come primaries. You won't be ignoring Ron Paul after.

    October 10, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  16. daveInAustin

    When Ron Paul comes in second by less than a percentage point he lost, the winner gets all the press. When Ron Paul comes in first by 14 percentage points, there was a "strong second place" and the first-place finish was "an outlier".

    October 10, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  17. HiroAkita

    Wow they are really getting scared that Ron can win... Did you see the varoius types of people in line after the poll? It looked pretty genuine to me.

    October 10, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. Brooke

    Tony who? Who cares? Why do we care what Tony whats-his-name thinks? This is news? Someone nobody cares about talks nonsense and this is what you choose to write about? Occupy Wall Street is not connected with Ron Paul Supporters so it shows how much Tony (what was his last name again?) knows. Ron Paul supporters are not going to go away because you censor him and pretend he's irrelevant. Ron Paul is not irrelevant. This article is though. This Tony guy is so irrelevant I don't even know his last name...and I just read it moments ago. Nice journalism.

    October 10, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  19. Brian

    Shame on you Tony Perkins. Are you seriously challenging the validity of your own poll AFTER the results because it didn't 'match' the other polls? Why go through the trouble of inviting all the candidates?

    October 10, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  20. TLR

    At least Ron Paul supporters cared enough to get on a bus and go there. His win was fair and honest. Please do more positive coverage of Ron Paul and WHY he is so popular across all races, income levels, political parties, religions, etc. If you don't know why, just ask his supporters, we'll tell you.

    October 10, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  21. media bias

    I wonder how it would have been reported if Romney, Perry, Cain, or anyone else for that matter had won in a landslide. Journalism and reporting today from mainstream media are garbage, and I only choose to read them in order to make comments such as this discrediting them.

    October 10, 2011 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  22. Voice of Reason

    Perkins' reaction is childish and predictable. Paul is one of the greatest Americans who ever lived and his win reflects his strong nationwide following. How long will the media try to ignore the truth–Ron Paul is the obvious GOP frontrunner?

    October 10, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  23. Feisty Loves Freedom

    I'm a conservative Christian and I'm voting for Ron Paul. He reflects my values.
    In every "political" discussion I have had this past year, I have not met ONE single person who plans to vote for Perry. I've only met a couple people who plan to vote for either Cain or Romney. There are still a few people I know who plan to vote for Obama to give him "one more chance." EVERYONE else I talk to tells me they are firm on voting for Ron Paul. I believe this man has a much stronger probability of becoming President than the media is giving him credit for. Go Ron Paul!

    October 10, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. Don Settle

    If he wins a poll it's a fluke...If he raises massive amounts of money it's unexplainable..maybe it's that he is a more viable candidate than Perry the kid, or Bachman over the top ,or inner Santorum. or 999 Cain. Maybe, just Maybe you might want to support someone like Paul who can Get the independents in a National election than the crazy fringe of the fringe who will caost you the election

    October 10, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  25. Brooke

    Wow–forgot to mention the most obvious. Ron Paul WINS should be your title. He wins the Values Voter Summit straw poll...and you run a picture of Tony-what was his name again? It's fantastic. If a middle schooler had the journalism assignment to cover the Values Voter Summit straw pole and turned in this headline with this photo-he'd be lucky to get a D much less a journalism job when he grew up. The fact that "CNN" wrote it is mind-blowing.

    October 10, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10