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A common complaint from Texas Congressman and GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul’s supporters is that the media ignores their favorite candidate.
As the old Mongolian proverb goes, “be careful what you wish for.” Paul is getting media attention now and it’s not the kind of attention he or his enthusiastic band of followers wanted.
A series of racist-themed newsletters that appeared under his name in the 1990s have resurfaced and questions about those newsletters and the money he made from them caused Paul to walk out on a CNN interview Wednesday.
“I didn’t write them. I disavow them,” a testy Paul told CNN’s Gloria Berger. He also claimed to have never read the newsletters.
That is a change from earlier claims by Paul, who in the past said he wrote “some of them.” In fact, a study of Paul’s comments throughout his political career reveals he has changed his story about the newsletters more than once.
In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, published on May 22, 1996, Paul did not deny writing the newsletters. Instead, he defended the writings, saying the comments were “taken out of context.”
In 1992, Paul wrote in his newsletter that “95 percent of the black men in Washington, DC, are “semi-criminal or entirely criminal.” He also said that anyone who had ever been robbed by a black teenager knew they were “unbelievably fleet of foot.”
“It’s typical political demagoguery,” Paul said.
But he did not deny — at that time — writing the articles in the Ron Paul Political Report or other newsletters published under his name.
Paul also took responsibility for the newsletters in a 1996 interview with Texas Monthly magazine.
At least one former Paul staffer tells Capitol Hill Blue that Paul knew about the newsletter and approved the racists themes published under his name.
“The newsletters were his bread and butter,” said the former staffer who asked not to be identified. “He knew and he agreed with what was being published.”
Former Paul aide Eric Dondero says Paul “did read them, every line of them, off his fax machine at his Clute office before they were published. He would typically sign them at the bottom of the last page giving his okay, and refax them to go to the printer.”
The New Republic reported in 2008 that Paul pulled down close to a million in just one year of publishing the newsletter. In his shortened interview with CNN, Paul said he would like to see the money.
The Atlantic reported on its web site Wednesday that many questions remain unanswered about Paul’s involvement in his newsletter and the incredibly racist comments published under his name.
Michael Brendan Doughterty of The Atlantic writes:
There is no doubt that the newsletters contained utterly racist statements.
Some choice quotes:
“Given the inefficiencies of what DC laughingly calls the criminal justice system, I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”
“We are constantly told that it is evil to be afraid of black men, it is hardly irrational.”
After the Los Angeles riots, one article in a newsletter claimed, “Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks.”
One referred to Martin Luther King Jr. as “the world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours” and who “seduced underage girls and boys.”
Another referred to Barbara Jordan, a civil rights activist and congresswoman as “Barbara Morondon,” the “archetypical half-educated victimologist.”
Other newsletters had strange conspiracy theories about homosexuals, the CIA, and AIDS.
Some speculate the newsletters were actually written by long-time Paul confidant Lew Rockwell but few believe the Congressman did not know what was being said in his name.
The Ron Paul campaign did not return phone calls seeking comment.