Texas Rep. Ron Paul won a straw poll at the Family Research Council's Values Voters Summit on October 8, receiving 37 percent of the vote at the social conservative convention. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins downplayed the results some, saying that 600 people registered Saturday morning left after Paul spoke. "I think people are still in the process of deciding where they want to go," Perkins told reporters. Herman Cain took 23 percent and former Sen. Rick Santorum took 16 percent. Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann won 8 percent while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney received 4 percent of the vote.
In his speech, Paul emphasized personal responsibility, using the example of Jesus' response to prostitution. "He didn't call for more laws. But he was very direct and thought that stoning was not the solution to the problem of prostitution," he told the crowd. "So do laws take care of these things, or do we need a better understanding of our Christian values and our moral principles?" In an interview with Christianity Today following his speech, Paul explained why he doesn't think the government can create morality.
Do you approach this audience differently than you would another group?
Well I approached the audience the way I have been asked to approach the audience. [FRC] asked for a nonpolitical speech and they asked for me to talk about family. But no, I wouldn't do that on an average stump speech — I wouldn't talk about Christian values. I would talk more about the political process. So this is different, but they wrote me some instructions for tax purposes and other things that it wasn't supposed to be political.1