After three days of speeches at the conservative cattle call that is the Southern Republican Leadership Conference (SRLC), one presidential candidate stood out in an already crowded Republican field of hopefuls: neurologist-turned-politician Dr. Ben Carson.
Carson, who announced his candidacy for the White House earlier this month, emerged victorious at the SRLC’s closing straw poll, drawing just over a quarter of the votes.
Considered an early indicator of southern primary voter support, the conference straw poll is also the first in the election cycle. A win in this contest, however, does not always guarantee a strong showing in Republican primaries: In the 2011 straw poll, for example, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul won by a margin of nearly 15 percentage points over former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.
At this year’s SRLC, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker finished in second place, currying favor with just over 20 percent of the crowd. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz followed with 16.6 percent of votes. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie came in fourth at 5.3 percent, with former Texas Gov. Rick Perry trailing close behind with 5 percent of votes.
The conference kicked off Thursday in Oklahoma City with numerous conservative superstars on its lineup. Though several senators – and likely presidential candidates – were scheduled to speak, some were not in attendance because of Friday’s prolonged Senate session. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio both addressed the Republican crowd via taped messages, along with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
About 1,500 eligible voters from across 25 southern states took part in the conservative confab, according to event organizers. Just under two-thirds of the registered attendees voted in the straw poll.
Full SRLC straw poll results:
Dr. Ben Carson: 25.4%
Gov. Scott Walker: 20.5%
Sen. Ted Cruz: 16.6%
Gov. Chris Christie: 5.3%
Gov. Rick Perry: 5.0%
Gov. Jeb Bush: 4.9%
Sen. Rand Paul: 4.1%
Sen. Marco Rubio: 4.1%
Gov. Bobby Jindal: 4.1%
Carly Fiorina: 2.7%
Gov. Mike Huckabee: 2.7%
Sen. Rick Santorum: 1.9%
Donald Trump: 1.2%
Mark Everson: 0.8%
Sen. Lindsey Graham: 0.5%
Gov. John Kasich: 0.2%
Gov. Jim Gilmore: 0.0%
No, it is not THAT kind of STD, instead it is the newest Liberal Malady I have diagnosed. Here is the case that led to the diagnosis
The gays are angry at two of their own, Mati Weiderpass and Ian Reisner, for hosting a Ted Cruz reception at one of their hotels. Weiderpass is pictured above with Cruz in a photo from his Facebook. They are calling for a boycott of all his properties even though he has been a staunch advocate for the cause of the gay community and gay marriage for years:
MEDIAITE – The gay New York City hoteliers who recently played host to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) have their own controversy to deal with: Activists are calling for the boycott of their properties, including a gay hotel and establishments on Fire Island.
Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass (pictured with Cruz), two gay real estate moguls who run numerous vacation properties marketed towards the LGBT community, spoke with The New York Times yesterday about the reception they held for the presidential candidate. During that meeting, they mainly discussed foreign policy, while alluding to a possible shift (or private opinion) in Cruz’s thoughts about gay marriage. Nevertheless, the fact that they held a reception (not a fundraiser) for Cruz, a staunch opponent to same-sex marriage, was enough to tick off the gay community.
Within hours, a Facebook page calling for the boycott of the Fire Island Pines Establishments and the Out NYC Hotel, all owned by Reisner and Weiderpass, gained more than 2,500 followers, its wall filled with angry messages blasting the two for selling out their ideals.
“Weiderpass, an out gay man, held a ‘reception’ this past weekend for Senator Cruz,” said the first post on the page. “The question, among so many others, is, WHY???!!!”
“It was arranged to help Cruz get major donors to his campaign,” wrote another. “Claiming it was anything else is pure bullshit. Pure. Bullshit.”
Sooo, understand here folks. The very same bullies who want to see Americans business owners run OUT of business for not wanting to cater a Gay wedding are now seeking to hurt openly Gay men who fully support Gay marriage because these men did business with a Conservative. Hypocrisy anyone? From the same mouths we hear calls for tolerance, now comes cries to punish those that act in a tolerant fashion. Senator Cruz had a fitting response
“It speaks volumes that the New York Times considers it newsworthy that a Republican who believes marriage is between a man and a woman would meet with people who hold a different view. The purpose of the meeting and the primary topics of conversation were national security, foreign policy, and America’s commitment to standing with Israel. On the subject of marriage, when asked, I stated directly and unambiguously what everyone in the room already knew, that I oppose gay marriage and I support traditional marriage.
“One person further asked how Heidi and I would react if we found out one of our (4 and 7-year-old) daughters were gay. My reply: ‘We would love her with all our hearts. We love our daughters unconditionally.’
“A conservative Republican who is willing to meet with individuals who do not agree on marriage and who loves his daughters unconditionally may not reflect the caricature of conservatives promoted by the left, but it’s hardly newsworthy.
“I know it’s been a long time since we’ve seen it, but this is what it means to truly be a ‘big tent Republican’ instead of a panderer. I’m happy to go anywhere to anyone to champion conservative values. We’re not always going to agree on everything, and I’m not going to change my fundamental values. But at the same time, I’m hoping to offer enough bold leadership on a broad slate of issues that many voters will decide we agree on far more than we disagree.”
In short Senator Cruz is truly tolerant, and displays the value and worth of sincere tolerance. Those who are now outrageously outraged are the very opposite.