Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-TX) emergence as the front-runner in the Iowa GOP primary is bringing new scrutiny on Paul’s newsletters from the 1980s and 1990s. The newsletters, published under his name, included content claiming that African-Americans are trying to give white people HIV, suggested that Washington, DC is “anti-white and proud of it,” provided instructions on how to murder African-Americans, and warned of “malicious gay(s)” who spread HIV.
Yesterday, Paul walked out of an interview after CNN’s Gloria Borger pressed him on his role in publishing the racist content:
PAUL: I never read that stuff. I was probably aware of it ten years after it was written. And it’s been going on twenty years that people have pestered me about this. And CNN does it every single time.
BORGER: Is it legitimate? Is it a legitimate question to ask that something that went out under your name? [crosstalk]
PAUL: And when you get the answer it’s legitimate that you take the answers I give. You know what the answer is? I didn’t write them. I didn’t read them at the time. And I disavow them. That is the answer.
BORGER: It’s legitimate, it’s legitimate. These things are pretty incendiary.
PAUL: Because of people like you.
BORGER: No, come one. Some of the stuff was very incendiary, you know, saying that in 1993 the Israelis were responsible for the bombing of the World Trade Center. That kind of stuff.
As reported yesterday on ThinkProgress, the likely author of the racist rants published under Paul’s name is Lew Rockwell, a notorious libertarian activist who led a campaign to align libertarians and bigots in the 1980s and 1990s. But the fact that his newsletter published racist statements over a series of years raises real questions about Paul’s claim that he “never read that stuff.” Thus far, Paul has refused to name the author(s) of the offensive articles.
In a seperate CNN interview yesterday, Paul said:
PAUL: I really don’t know [who the authors were]. Twenty years ago, I had six or eight people helping me with this letter, and I was practicing medicine, to tell you the truth.
PAUL: And, so, I do not know.
VELSHI: Well, we could find out because you have six or eight people, I guess, one of those six or eight people.
PAUL: Well, possibly, I could.
Paul’s assertion that CNN is to blame for asking him about the racist content of his newsletters is contradicted by his answer to a similar question in 2008, in which he told [VIDEO] CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “I know there’s reason [to ask these questions]. I don’t say you’re unjustified in asking the question.”