A team of 5 LifeSiteNews staff covered this past weekend’s Value Voters Summit in Washington, D.C. The event, run largely by the Family Research Council and co-sponsored by several other conservative organizations, is a major annual Washington political event. It was a great experience.
I scanned a fair number of news reports about the Summit, but for me by far the worst mainstream coverage was today’s unbelievable National Post front page slam piece by Allen Able. Able seems to have been disgusted by the few people who expressed that they had problems with Romney’s Mormon faith and disgusted with just about everything that took place at the Summit. He seemingly had only one purpose for attending the event – to rip it to shreds by twisting and demonizing the religious character of many participants at the largely evangelical Summit. I can tell you with complete confidence that anyone, having read only this report, would have gained a very distorted view of the event that had numerous, exceptionally positive aspects.
For us, it was well worth the effort to be among the over 3,000 registered participants to hear all the top Republican presidential candidates make their pitch and listen to the many other exceptional speakers such as Bill Bennett, House Speaker John Boehner, Lila Rose, Rep. Steve King, Kathryn Jean Lopez, Laura Ingraham, Bobby Schindler and many more.
Yes, there was a lot of emphasis on the economy, Israel, defense, immigration and other usual political topics, but there was also frequent mention of the right to life, the need to stand up for marriage and the family and the need to fix the culture. I presume that constant social conservatism theme was the thing that caused the Post’s Able to write his pathetic article.
The strong emphasis, by several speakers such as Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal and Bill Bennett, that repairing the culture should be given top priority over all the usual political issues, was surprising and refreshing. By no means was the conference only all about politics.
Both Herman Cain and Ron Paul gave by far the best presidential candidate speeches that generated strong crowd reaction. However, it quickly became obvious that, while the wild applauding of Cain spontaneously came from a broad range of people in the audience, the Ron Paul response was led by a large contingent of supporters who came in just for his speech and left immediately afterwards to vote in the straw poll. They also lined up by the hundreds in the hotel hallways for the Paul meet and greet event. More power to them, but this revealed how the Paul team has managed to win recent Republican straw Polls.
We will continue with more reports over the next few days conveying some of the most newsworthy occurrences at the Value Voters Summit.