Some of the Republican presidential candidates who took part in last night's "Values Voter" presidential debate in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, spoke candidly about when they accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said last night's debate was unlike any other he'd ever participated in, noting he could never envision MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews opening a debate with a prayer.
Huckabee told the 2,000-plus audience members that he became a born-again Christian at the age of 10 while attending vacation Bible school at a small Baptist church in Hope, Arkansas. "And on that day [I] trusted Jesus Christ as my Savior -- it was life-changing," he said.
The former governor shared that he holds things in perspective, including his run for the White House. "Sometimes people ask me what's the greatest thing that ever happened to me, and they expect me to say being elected governor or running for president," stated Huckabee. "But the truth is, those are jobs that somebody else had before me, somebody else is going to have after me -- and those jobs have a limit.
"But the greatest thing that ever happened to me was coming to know Jesus Christ, because there is no limit, there are no terms set, and it's a position that I'll hold forever and forever."
Illinois businessman John Cox said he was "reborn in Christ" in 1979 when a Christian man ministered to him on a commuter train in Chicago. Meanwhile, Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-California) joked that he has never belonged to an organized denomination -- he's a Baptist.
2. Tax Issues
I liked Mike Huckabee's description of the Fair Tax plan that he would like to see replace our current taxation structure. He said his plan for taxes would be Flat, Fair, Finite, and Family Friendly. You gotta love the alliteration.
3. Missing Candidates
Refusing to participate in this debate were McCain, Romney, Giuliani, and Thompson. This is interesting, because all four have questionable stands on value issues such as abortion and gay marriage. ALL of the democratic candidates refused to participate in a values debate as well.
4. Speed Round
I liked the second round of the debate, the candidates were asked about 20 yes/no questions. They had to push a button and a red or green light would appear. Most all the questions were unanimous. Ron Paul voted the opposite way about 5 or 6 times -- for example, he disagrees with "Teri's Law" - to keep the disabled from being starved to death like Teri Shiavo; he does not think we should prosecute manufacturers of pornographic material; and he is against expanding the indecency laws to cable TV networks.
Here are the official results of the straw poll conducted before and then immediately after the Values Voter debate. The poll included 340 delegates hand-selected by 40 of America's social conservative activists and opinion makers. Pre-debate numbers are located in the parenthesis and the post debate numbers immediately follow the colon.
Mike Huckabee: 219 (119) Clear Winner with 63%
Ron Paul: 44 (53)
Alan Keyes: 24 (30)
Sam Brownback: 18 (26)
Fred Thompson: 15 (52)
Duncan Hunter: 13 (8)
Tom Tancredo: 7 (8)
Rudy Guiliani: 4 (16)
John Cox: 2 (1)
John McCain: 2 (13)
Mitt Romney: 0 (14)