Posted: January 11, 2008 11:41 AM
Paul Places Fifth in N.H., Rejects Troubling Newsletters
Republican presidential candidate and Texas Congressman Ron Paul placed fifth in the New Hampshire primary this week, trailing former Rudy Giuliani with 8 percent of the vote.
While Paul probably wanted a better showing in this libertarian-friendly state, he now has a bigger problem to deal with: a recent article in The New Republic looks closely at a series of controversial, decade-old newsletters published under Paul’s name.
While rumors about the newsletters have been circulating for months, the New Republic piece takes an in-depth look at a series of publications all bearing Paul’s name: Ron Paul’s Freedom Report, Ron Paul Political Report and the Ron Paul Survival Report, for example.
“What (the newsletters) reveal are decades worth of obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays. In short, they suggest that Ron Paul is not the plain-speaking antiwar activist his supporters believe they are backing — but rather a member in good standing of some of the oldest and ugliest traditions in American politics,” writes New Republic associate editor James Kirchick.
On Thursday evening, Paul appeared on CNN’s
“The Situation Room” for a live interview with Wolf Blitzer. The candidate was preparing to participate in a Republican debate in South Carolina.
Paul angrily dismissed the idea that he is a racist or that he had any hand in writing the newsletters, despite the fact that his name was attached to the title of the publications. He told Blitzer that he has no idea who wrote the newsletters.
“I didn’t write them, and I don’t speak like that,” he said. “Libertarians are incapable of being racist because it’s a collectivist idea.”
Paul argued that his constituents have repeatedly re-elected him to Congress since the newsletters were criticized, believing that he did not agree with their contents.
He called civil-rights pioneers Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. his heroes and said he was attracting African=American votes in the Republican race because he is attacking a war that causes suffering for minorities.
According to Paul, his next big fundraising day is planned for Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Jan. 21.