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Values Voter debate now online

The groundbreaking Values Voter Presidential Debate, where candidates were asked their positions on abortion, terrorism, free speech, free exercise of religion and other significant issues, now has been posted online.

The three-hour debate was broadcast live on Monday night, but interest has been so high that the American Family Association has posted the event for viewers to see.

The straw poll conducted at the event left former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in the top position after his performance against six other Republican presidential candidates there.

In addition to Huckabee, Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, former ambassador Alan Keyes, businessman John Cox and Reps. Ron Paul of Texas, Tom Tancredo of Colorado and Duncan Hunter of California all were in attendance.

Missing were ex-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Janet Folger, president of the Faith2Action organization which worked on the debate, said Huckabee received 63 percent, more votes than all the other candidates combined. No-show candidates – the top four, according to national surveys – were included in the poll.

The vote included 340 delegates who were hand-selected by 40 of the country’s social activists and opinion-makers.

“We won huge,” said Huckabee after the votes were tallied. “I’m pleased, and proud, and honored to have this historic endorsement from America ‘s leading social conservatives who believe, as I do, in the core values which define American culture and life. This overwhelming vote affirms that conservatives are coalescing around one candidate and that candidate is me. Together, we will prevail.”

Folger, a member of the Values Voter Debate committee, said the “biggest losers” were the no-show candidates.

Debate panelist Rabbi Aryeh Spero of the Jewish Action Alliance asked, “How can we expect these no-show candidates to take on Osama bin Laden and other world leaders when they’re afraid to show up and answer questions from Phyllis Schlafly?”

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