Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) strongly stressed his opposition to abortion rights in his speech to prospective voters in the Ames straw poll this evening.
Paul made a play for social conservative voters in the bulk of his speaking slot Saturday afternoon in Ames; the libertarian-minded congressman is gunning for a top-tier finish in the straw poll, where social issues have an emphasized importance.
Paul recalled somewhat graphic stories from his time as an obstetrics-gynecology resident to explain his opposition to abortion rights.
Paul skimped on the more controversial elements of his platform — opposition to the Patriot Act, and the U.S. war in Iraq — until the second half of his speech. Those items, and Paul's support for a return to a gold and silver-based monetary policies received more tepid applause than his words on abortion.
Paul is contending with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Texas) and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) for a finish somewhere in the top three in tonight's straw poll. Each candidate would see a win as an influx of support for their candidacies for president.
"We're delighted with the way things are going," Paul said at the outset of his remarks.