Thoughts on Ron Paul
As someone who has written and commented widely and generally sympathetically about Ron Paul, I've got to say that The New Republic article detailing tons of racist and homophobic comments from Paul newsletters is really stunning. As former reason intern Dan Koffler documents here, there is no shortage of truly odious material that is simply jaw-dropping.
I don't think that Ron Paul wrote this stuff but that really doesn't matter–the newsletters carried his name after all–and his non-response to Dave Weigel below is unsatisfying on about a thousand different levels. It is hugely disappointing that he produced a cache of such garbage.
Various staffers will be weighing in on this through the day.
The New Republic has posted newsletters here.
Update: Ron Paul's official comment is here:
January 8, 2008 5:28 am EST
ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA—In response to an article published by The New Republic, Ron Paul issued the following statement:
"The quotations in The New Republic article are not mine and do not represent what I believe or have ever believed. I have never uttered such words and denounce such small-minded thoughts.
"In fact, I have always agreed with Martin Luther King, Jr. that we should only be concerned with the content of a person's character, not the color of their skin. As I stated on the floor of the U.S. House on April 20, 1999: 'I rise in great respect for the courage and high ideals of Rosa Parks who stood steadfastly for the rights of individuals against unjust laws and oppressive governmental policies.'
"This story is old news and has been rehashed for over a decade. It's once again being resurrected for obvious political reasons on the day of the New Hampshire primary.
"When I was out of Congress and practicing medicine full-time, a newsletter was published under my name that I did not edit. Several writers contributed to the product. For over a decade, I have publically taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name."
I'm sure I'm not alone in wanting to know who the writers were and what their connections to the Paul congressional office and presidential campaign.