The Value Voters Debate, held on September 17, 2007, pitted many of the socially conservative members of the Republican Party against each other in a contest to win the votes of one of America's most important voting blocs. Mike Huckabee won the debate, although all candidates stood up for strong Christian values, as opposed to the Democrat candidates, who did not show.
The debaters, in order of the percentage of total votes each received, were:
- Mike Huckabee 63%
- Ron Paul 12%
- Alan Keyes 7%
- Sam Brownback 5%
- Duncan Hunter 4%
- Tom Tancredo 2%
- John Cox 1%
The first part of the debate took the form of a question-and-answer session, where prominent "panelists" would pose questions to candidates. Conservative luminary Phyllis Schlafly was among the panelists, and she received wide praise from the candidates. Also present were representatives of the Discovery Institute.
This session was followed by a series of questions in which the candidates were invited to respond "yes" or "no" to politically charged questions. Almost all candidates voted together on major issues, with the exception of Ron Paul.
Radical leftist Chip Berlet, reporting on the conference, said, "[I]t was disheartening to hear from a variety of conference speakers that .... I am apparently part of a vast liberal conspiracy that promotes Sin, Secularism, Subversion, and Satan. ... [F]rom what I heard, as a person who opposes the war in Iraq, I am apparently not a real Christian, nor a real American--and if I caught the drift--I'm not even a real man. Therefore (goes the subtext and full text) I must hate America and love Islamic terrorism. The sum total of this set of assumptions is that I am consciously or unconsciously working on behalf of Satan and the Whore of Babylon, who is obviously Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton."