Do you remember the racist newsletters, variously titled the Ron Paul Political Report and the Ron Paul Survival Report, published in the 1980s and '90s and featuring such first-person gems as "'I've urged everyone in my family to know how to use a gun in self defense…for the animals are coming" and "Am I the only one sick of hearing about the 'rights' of AIDS carriers?"
CNN's Gloria Borger remembers and came armed with research, whereas Ron Paul had only testiness and a dramatically-dropable microphone…
[Ron Paul responded,] "I never read that stuff. I was probably aware of it ten years after it was written and it's been going on 20 years that people have pestered me about this and CNN does it every single time. So when are you going to wear yourself out?"
"Is it legitimate? Is it a legitimate question to ask that something went out in your name?" Borger continued.
"And when you get the answer, it's legitimate you sort of take the answers you get. I didn’t write them. I didn't read them at the time and I disavow them. That is your answer."
"It's legitimate, it’s legitimate. These things are pretty incendiary," Borger pressed.
"Because of people like you," Paul riffed.
I think it's awesome that the candidacy of a person disproportionately favored by technology-savvy collegians is being threatened by newsletters that look as if they've been mimeographed in a militia bunker (sadly, because they were probably mimeographed in a militia bunker).
Even better is the idea that never having read the newsletters that were published under your name and reportedly generated $940,000+ for you and your associate Lew Rockwell constitutes a strong defense of your character and management ability. It's exactly the kind of Reagan-esque leadership — Iran Contra Reagan, not Morning in America Reagan — that the Republican Party is looking for these days.
Still, judging by internet comments, Paul's most ardent libertarian supporters know everything (except the touch of a woman) so it is common knowledge that a man of Paul's moral rectitude couldn't possibly believe any of the racist drivel attributed to him in his newsletters. Helpfully, Paul's explicitly non-racist views on civil rights are just as insane, as he believes the 1964 Civil Rights Act was a mistake because it undermined the private property rights of business owners. And nothing says "liberty" like local law enforcement ejecting black patrons at the whim of racist restaurant owners.
Tags: Civil Rights, CNN, Libertarian, Primaries, Racism, Republicans, Ron Paul