Tony Perkins: Ron Paul victory not 'reflective' of social issues voters

Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, downplayed GOP presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) win in the organization’s Values Voter Summit straw poll, saying the vote did not reflect social conservative support for his candidacy.

“I don’t think Ron Paul is truly reflective of where values voters stand,” said Perkins on CNN’s "American Morning on Monday."

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Perkins described the Texas congressman’s top-place finish in the poll as an “outlier.”

“Ron Paul bussed in over 600 people not to attend the conference but to hear his speech and vote,” he said. “I give them credit for being organized.”

Perkins also addressed the growing controversy over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's faith.

Robert Jeffress, a Dallas pastor who introduced Texas Gov. Rick Perry, blasted Romney and described his Mormon faith as "a cult" in an interview at the Values Voter Summit.

Perkins said that while there were "theological differences between evangelicals and Mormons," that was "not the focus of the Values Voters Summit or the Family Research Council."

Perkins praised businessman Herman Cain for his performance, saying “I think there’s something to be said about his results in the straw poll.”

Paul won the Saturday straw poll, finishing with 37 percent of the vote. Cain finished second with 23 percent, building on his campaign’s growing momentum; Cain notched a win in a conservative straw poll in Florida in September and some national polls show him gaining traction with GOP voters.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum finished in third with 16 percent. Santorum has made his conservative positions a centerpiece of his campaign.

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