This morning, Mother Jones published a profile of Wes Riddle, a Republican candidate for the House who has said, among other heinous things, that “Are the descendants of slaves really worse off? Would Jesse Jackson be better off living in Uganda? Would we? (Don’t answer that).” Mother Jones suggested that Riddle has a serious chance to win, partly as a consequence of a prominent endorsement: Representative Ron Paul (R-TX). Unfortunately, Riddle isn’t the only candidate with an extreme history Paul has endorsed this year – his hand-picked candidates seem prone to having seriously questionable views:
1. Ted Cruz, Senate: Paul and his son, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, have endorsed Cruz, a fellow Texas extremist. Cruz has opposed the Voting Rights Act, touted his role in executing an undocumented immigrant, and expressed belief in the absurd theory that George Soros and the United Nations are coming for your golf game.
2. Kurt Bills, Senate: Paul has endorsed the Minnesota Republican who, as a state legislator, introduced a bill to make gold and silver legal tender and “study” the (unconstitutional) idea of having Minnesota develop its own currency. Bills also has compared the Affordable Care Act, unfavorably, to the burning of Washington in the War of 1812 and released a bizarre campaign ad/48 hour film festival entry that suggests voting for his opponent, incumbent Democrat Amy Klobuchar, will cause you to “die alone in a broken world.”
3. John Koster, House: Ron has also endorsed Koster (R, WA-1), who “physically flinches” at the thought of two men kissing during their wedding, once bragged about using his position as a state legislator to intimidate a university into cancelling a conference for gay students [Lexis, 6/6/98], wants to shutter the IRS and withdraw from the United Nations, and expressed opposition to a conspiracy theory about a mythical “NAFTA superhighway.” Those last three extreme positions are “the correct answers” on to some of the questions on a candidate survey by Ron Paul’s 501(c)(4) political operation, Campaign for Liberty.
The troubling thinking that appears pervasive in Paul-endorsed candidates perhaps shouldn’t be a surprise: Ron Paul has a storied history of peddling conspiracy theories and flirting with out-and-out racism on the national stage.