Inside Politics

Paul victory

TexasRep. Ron Paul garnered 216 of 266 votes in a Republican presidential straw poll conducted Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala., by the West Alabama Republican Assembly.

Among the supporters on hand to cheer Mr. Paul’s straw-poll victory was Thomas Woods, author of the 2004 bestseller, “The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History.”

Ron Paul believes in freedom and the Constitution, and as a historian it is my sincere opinion that he is the greatest congressman in American history,” said Mr. Woods, a senior fellow at the libertarian Mises Institute in Auburn, Ala. Activists paid $35 each to participate in the event held at the Bryant Conference Center, reported Jamon Smith of the Tuscaloosa News.

“We’re not endorsing anybody, but if one candidate wants to energize and mobilize his voters, then more power to him,” DeWayne Fowler, president of the West Alabama Republican Assembly, told the News.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney came in at a distant second with 14 votes, followed by California Rep. Duncan Hunter with 10 votes. No other candidate got a double-digit number of votes.

Rove’s view

White House political adviserKarl Rove says Republican voters would accept a presidential candidate who will try to “make abortion less prevalent” but not necessarily illegal, reports Sean Lengell of The Washington Times.

Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” Mr. Rove said “the essential core” of the party’s pro-life stance was “appointing conservative judges, encouraging adoptions, standing for the restrictions that we have in current law so there’s no federal funding” for abortions.

“I find a lot of people who are pro-life who are willing to take a candidate who will carry that standard,” he said, while not denying questioner Chris Wallace’s saying that a candidate “could carry that standard, but also defend a woman’s fundamental right to choose.”

“Our party is a pro-life party,” said Mr. Rove, who is stepping down as White House deputy chief of staff. Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani is the only Republican presidential candidate who calls himself pro-choice on abortion.

But, Mr. Rove said, “I do think people are accepting of candidates who … may have a slightly different label or may have a slightly different attitude, as long as people respect and understand the essential core of that, which is what we need to do in order to make abortion less prevalent in America.”

He also advised pro-lifers not to expect 100 percent agreement from politicians.

“People who enter politics tend to sort of want everything very quickly. And as time goes on they mature. They get a more mature understanding of politics and say, ‘You know what, I want somebody’s who’s with me, you know, 80 or 90 percent of the time.’ ”

Cannibals, liberals

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