Racist Past Of Ron Paul Surfacing As Iowa Caucus Draws Near
Emerging as a real Republican contender in Iowa, Representative Ron Paul of Texas is receiving new focus for decades-old unbylined columns in his political newsletters that included racist, anti-gay and anti-Israel passages that he has since disavowed.
The latest issue of The Weekly Standard, a leading conservative publication, reprised reports of incendiary languagein Mr. Paul’s newsletters that were published about 20 years ago.
A 1992 passage from the Ron Paul Political Report about the Los Angeles riots read, “Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks.” A passage in another newsletter asserted that people with AIDS should not be allowed to eat in restaurants because “AIDS can be transmitted by saliva”; in 1990 one of his publications criticized Ronald Reagan for having gone along with the creation of the federal holiday honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which it called “Hate Whitey Day.”
Mr. Paul has survived previous questions about his newsletters. During his 1996 race for the House, Democrats publicized issues of his newsletter that called Barbara Jordan, the African-American Texas congresswoman, a “half-educated victimologist” and said of crime in Washington, D.C., “I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”
He defended the statements to The Dallas Morning News at the time, saying they were taken out of context. He also told the newspaper he did not know that his newsletter — with 7,000 to 8,000 subscribers — was listed by a neo-Nazi group called Heritage Front, apparently as recommended reading, under the Internet heading “Racialists and Freedom Fighters.”
But in an interview in 2001 with Texas Monthly, Mr. Paul said he regretted that he had not admitted that he had not written the newsletters. “They were never my words, but I had some moral responsibility for them,” Mr. Paul said. He said that he had “actually really wanted to try to explain that it doesn’t come from me directly,” but that his campaign aides had told him, “Your name was on that letter and therefore you have to live with it.”