Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas)
Bucking the turbulent highs and lows felt by his competition, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), the libertarian's favorite in the GOP presidential field, continues his slow and steady rise. The final poll before Iowa's caucuses on Tuesday, released by the Des Moines Register on Saturday, showed Paul with 22 percent of support, just two percentage points behind front-runner Mitt Romney. Paul's extensive field operation in Iowa and loyal supporters have set him up for a strong showing on Tuesday—a surprise victory even—that could rattle the fight for the nomination. There's just one problem Paul can't shake off: his newsletters.
Published as far back as the late 1970s, under various mastheads bearing Paul's name (Ron Paul Political Report, Ron Paul’s Freedom Report, the Ron Paul Survival Report), the newsletters are, at times, virulently racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, and conspiratorial. They dogged Paul's 2008 campaign and threaten to do the same this time around, especially if the Texas congressman wins in Iowa. Paul and his staff's scattershot responses to questions about the newsletters haven't helped. Paul defended the newsletters in 1996, then said he didn't write them in 2001. A campaign spokesman said in 2008 that Paul didn't write "most of the incendiary stuff," and last month, Paul personally disavowed them while pleading ignorance. "I never read that stuff; I was probably aware of it 10 years after it was written," he told CNN. However, the newsletters, many of which The New Republic has published on its website after reporting extensively on them in 2008, variously list Paul as "editor" or "editor and publisher."
Here are 10 of the most extreme statements found in Paul's newsletters [emphasis added]:
1) How to Gun Down an "Urban Youth"
From the Ron Paul Political Report, October 1992 (PDF), under the subtitle "Blast 'Em?":
"If you live in a major city, you've probably heard about the newest threat to your life and limb, and your family: carjacking.
"It's the hip-hop thing to do among the urban youth who play unsuspecting whites like pianos. The youth simply walk up to a car they like, pull a gun, tell the family to get out, steal their jewelry and wallets, and take the car to wreck. Such actions have ballooned in recent months.
"What can you do? More and more Americans are carrying a gun in the car. An ex-cop I know advises that if you have to use a gun on a youth, you should leave the scene immediately, disposing of the wiped off gun as soon as possible. Such a gun cannot, of course, be registered to you, but one bought privately (through the classifieds, for example.)"
2) Malicious Gays Spreading AIDS
From the Ron Paul Survival Report, September 1994 (PDF):
"At the recent world AIDS conference in Japan, researchers admitted what I have long told you: there is no prospect of a cure or vaccine for AIDS. For one thing, the virus keeps mutating. A drug that might work today won't work tomorrow. Researchers also admitted that they had been lying about the incidence of heterosexual AIDS to increase funding for homosexual programs.
"Those who don't commit sodomy, who don't get a blood transfusion, and who don't swap needles, are virtually assured of not getting AIDS unless they are deliberately infected by a malicious gay."
3) The Government Created AIDS
From the Ron Paul Political Report, January 1988 (PDF), under the sub-title "AIDS: Something Else We Can Thank Government For?":
"Dr. [William C.] Douglass believes that AIDS is a deliberately engineered hybrid of these two animal viruses cultured in human tissue, and he blames World Health Organization experimentation at Ft. Detrick, Maryland.
"'I have always said,' notes Dr. Douglass [in Health Freedom News, an "anti-government medicine" publication], 'and our forefathers told us this, that the greatest threat to the people is always government. Not foreign governments, but our own government.'"
4) Renaming New York City "Rapetown," "Zooville," or "Welfaria"
From the Ron Paul Political Report, October 1990 (PDF):
"A mob of black demonstrators, led by the 'Rev.' Al Sharpton, occupied and closed the Statue of Liberty recently, demanding that New York be renamed Martin Luther King City 'to reclaim it for our people.'
"Hmmm. I hate to agree with the Rev. Al, but maybe a name change is in order. Welfaria? Zooville? Rapetown? Dirtburg? Lazyopolis?
"But Al, the Statue of Liberty? Next time, hold that demonstration at a food stamp bureau or a crack house."