About an hour ago I followed Ron Paul outside the Radisson in Manchester, NH to get his response to James Kirchick's explosive New Republic piece, "Angry White Man." The article goes through the Texas Republican's newsletters from the 1970s through the 1990s, and finds dozens of offensive comments about gays, blacks, and other targets.
I was told by Paul's staff it was old news and he didn't want to talk about it, but I asked the candidate a few questions as he moved to his car.
Here's a transcript:
reason: Do you have any response to The New Republic's article about your newsletters?
Ron Paul: All it is--it's old stuff. It's all been rehashed. It's all political stuff.
reason: Why don't you release all the old letters?
Paul: I don't even have copies of them, because it's ancient history.
reason: Do you stand by what appears in the letters? Did you write these...?
Paul: No. I've discussed all of that in the past. It's just old news.
reason: Did the New Republic talk to you before they ran it?
Paul: No, I never talked to them.
reason: What do you think of Martin Luther King?
Paul: Martin Luther King is one of my heroes because he believed in nonviolence and that's a libertarian principle. Rosa Parks is the same way. Gandhi, I admire. Because they're willing to take on the government, they were willing to take on bad laws. So I believe in civil disobedience if you understand the consequences. Martin Luther King was a great person because he did that and he changed America for the better because of that.
reason: You didn't write the derogatory things about him in the letter?
Paul's position is basically that he wrote the newsletters he stands by and someone else wrote the stuff he has disowned.
Matt Welch blogged an MSNBC appearance by Kirchick yesterday.
reason on Ron Paul here.