Ron Paul met the crowd at the Values Voter Summit in Washington on Saturday more than halfway. Speaking to a packed hotel ballroom filled with his admirers, the Republican presidential candidate laced his usual attacks on American fiscal and foreign policy with biblical allusions.
He likened the sprawling federal government to the king sought by the Israelites in the book of Samuel. “We have too long relied upon our king in Washington and we have to change that,” Paul told the crowd, which was enthusiastic considering the early-morning hour.
The room was filled with chants -- “Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Ron Paul” -- as he spoke. The libertarian-leaning Texas congressman typically does well at conservative gatherings such as this Christian-themed summit, and it would not be a surprise to see him finish well in its straw poll, the results of which will be released later in the day Saturday.
His indictment of the wars in the Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya seemed to resonate most with the crowd. Paul quoted Jesus Christ, saying “blessed are the peacemakers.”
“One of the most greatest threats to the family is war. It undermines the family,” Paul said. He cited the more than 7,500 allied forces killed in the conflicts and lamented the prolific rates of suicide among returning members of the military.
“Peace is far superior to war. That should be our goal,” he said to a standing ovation.