Ron Paul: Yea I Wrote The Newsletters, But Not Those Icky Parts
Ron Paul has a new explanation for those newsletters of his.
Ron Paul is equivocating on the newsletters controversy yet again. Back in 1995 and 1996 when he was making his effort to return to Congress, Paul made no effort to disassociate himself from even the most controversial parts oft the newsletters published under his name, even those parts that repeated what can only be called vile smears against African-Americans and homosexuals. At some point during that period a subscription solicitation went out under his signature forecasting a race war. By 2001 or so, Paul was disavowing the newsletters and saying that they weren’t really written by him. During the 2008 campaign, he told Wolf Blitzer said not only that he didn’t write them but that he didn’t know who wrote them. Most recently, Paul has said that he was sorry that he wasn’t paying attention to the “ghost writers” who were writing the newsletters on his behalf.
Now, David Weigel reports that Paul has apparently changed his story yet again, as this transcript from an appearance on Iowa’s WHO seems to reveal:
CALLER: Dr. Paul, how confident were you at the time that the newsletters that bore your name were representative of your views on taxes, on monetary policy, the Second Amendment, the Tenth Amendment, all the things that you hold dear? How confident were you that the newsletter accurately portrayed your views on those things?
PAUL: Well, the newsletters were written, you know, a long time ago. And I wrote a certain portion of them. I would write the economics. So a lot of what you just mentioned… his would be material that I would turn in, and it would become part of the letter. But there were many times when I didn’t edit the whole letter, and things got put in. And I didn’t even really become aware of the details of that until many years later when somebody else called and said, you know what was in it? But these were sentences that were put in, a total of eight or ten sentences, and it was bad stuff. It wasn’t a reflection of my views at all. So it got in the letter, I thought it was terrible, it was tragic, you know and I had some responsibility for it, because name went on the letter. But I was not an editor. I’m like a publisher. And if you think of publishers of newspapers, once in a while they get pretty junky stuff in newspapers. And they have to say that this is not the position of that newspaper, and this is certainly the case. But I actually put a type of a newsletter out, it was a freedom report, investment, survival report — every month since 1976. So this is probably ten sentences out of 10,000 pages, for all I know. I think it’s bad that happened but I disavowed all these views, and people who know me best, people of my district, have heard these stories for years and years, and they know they weren’t a reflection of anything I believed in, and it never hurt me politically. Right now, I think it’s the same case, too. People are desperate to find something.
CALLER: But Dr. Paul, many of the newsletters are filled with conspiracies. You had one newsletter from start to finish with fear that the $50 bill, because it was going to be made pink, and it was gonna have all kinds of things that can track us down, so we should all be afraid that maybe tomorrow they’re gonna require us to turn in all of our old money.
PAUL: The paper money now is pink, you know? No, we haven’t had runaway inflation, but I still fear that.
The money is pink? Well, umm, okay I’m not at all sure what the heck that’s supposed to mean. But, clearly, Paul has changed his story yet again.
Moreover, as Allahpundit points out, the questionable content runs far longer than just “eight or ten sentences”:
Pick through TNR’s archive of the newsletters and see how much there is. Or scroll through this guy’s Twitter timeline; he’s been tweeting the choicer excerpts (sometimes repetitively) since before Christmas. Much depends, I guess, on what you think qualifies as “bad stuff.” Everyone agrees that the racist material is bad; how about the five paragraphs devoted in one newsletter to the idea that AIDS might have been engineered at Fort Detrick? How about the section a few months after the first World Trade Center bombing wondering whether Mossad might be responsible? How about the fact that Paul was willing to speculate on camera in 2008, a year in which he was running for president, that the Bilderbergers were chatting about controlling the world’s banking and natural resources?
Moreover, as Jamie Kirchick notes in the Times today, the paranoid conspiracy elements of the newsletters are just as bizarre as the racial stuff:
In a 1990 C-Span appearance, taped between Congressional stints, Paul was asked by a caller to comment on the “treasonous, Marxist, alcoholic dictators that pull the strings in our country.” Rather than roll his eyes, Paul responded,”there’s pretty good evidence that those who are involved in the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations usually end up in positions of power. And I believe this is true.”
Paul then went on to stress the negligible differences between various “Rockefeller Trilateralists.” The notion that these three specific groups — the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Rockefeller family — run the world has been at the center of far-right conspiracy theorizing for a long time, promoted especially by the extremist John Birch Society, whose 50th anniversary gala dinner Paul keynoted in 2008…
Paul knows where his bread is buttered. He regularly appears on the radio program of Alex Jones, a vocal 9/11 and New World Order conspiracy theorist based in his home state of Texas. On Jones’s show earlier this month, Paul alleged that the Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador on United States soil was a “propaganda stunt” perpetrated by the Obama administration.
In light of the newsletters and his current rhetoric, it is no wonder that Paul has attracted not just prominent racists, but seemingly every conspiracy theorist in America.
It’s not surprising, because it all started with Lew Rockwell’s decision in the early 90s that libertarians should appeal to the so-called Old Right and the culture warriors. It’s a strategy that led so-called libertarians like Rockwell, Rothbard, and Paul to ally themselves with a revanchist like Pat Buchanan, and it’s the kind of strategy that allowed them to look the other way while Paul received endorsements by outright racists like David Duke and the people at Stormfront and, most recently, a Pastor who thinks homosexuals should be put to death. It may be the pathway to big bucks, but it’s not a pathway to freedom. How Paul has been able to get away with it for so long is another question entirely.
Here’s the audio of Paul’s appearance, which runs a full eight minutes: