Rock Hill, SC - The GOP race for the White House took center stage in Rock Hill Thursday night, with Cruz and Dr. Ben Carson among those speaking at the Carolina Values Summit.
The focus of the event was the importance of Christian and family values in the 2016 presidential election. A majority of the audience was made up of Evangelicals from across the Carolinas, but, as with any political event, there were also those who were opposed.
“I think too often we see that these candidates put family values in a evangelical contexts,” said Gabriel Paxton, a Winthrop University student protesting outside of the event.
Vera Mathieu, on the other hand, is a Cruz supporter. He's the reason she chose to attend the summit. She said his Evangelical roots and approach to family is why she plans to vote for him.
"I like what he has to say,” said Mathieu. “I like the direction he's going. I think he's going to be a great leader.”
But not all agree. Paul Slazas said is leaning more toward Donald Trump and keeping a close eye on Dr. Ben Carson.
"I like Ben Carson,” said Slazas. “I just don’t think, you know, he's not strong enough. “Whoever's the Republican nominee is the one I'm going to probably definitely vote for."
And Ben Carson hopes that'll be him. He responded to criticism that many candidates have left God out of the election.
"Let's put it this way, if you take a coin our of your pocket or you take a bill out of your wallet, it says in God We Trust,” said Carson.
But people like Gabriel Paxton believe candidates have been including God but only when focusing on LGBT matters and women's rights.
"They need to extend it to encompass those as well as address racial equality, poverty and actually address women's right and be for it,” said Paxton.