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Friday, September 30, 2016

Before Ron Paul walked out of an interview with CNN’s Gloria Borger on Wednesday, he snapped that she should “take the answers I give” on the bigoted, conspiracy-mongering articles that used to appear in newsletters he published. Boiled down, his answers are simple denials of responsibility, with nothing to confirm them. Unable to argue that racist material didn’t appear in the newsletters, Paul simply claims that “I didn’t write them, I didn’t read them” and adds “I disavow” all the obnoxious statements about African-Americans.

But while the Texas Congressman would prefer to end the discussion there — feeling persecuted by the continuing scrutiny — he must know by now that as a Republican presidential front-runner, all of his past statements and behavior are subject to examination by the media and voters, whether he enjoys it or not.

Published in the pre-Internet era, his old newsletters — one of which was renamed the Ron Paul Survival Report, in a timely bit of pandering to the militia movement — are difficult to find except presumably in his basement or file cabinets.

What the newsletters represent is a broader problem for Paul, whose long history of connections with extremist movements and leaders cannot be explained away by claiming someone else is to blame. Reporters and researchers who have followed Paul’s campaigns during the past few cycles have documented his ties with the Neo-confederate movement, the Texas secessionists, the openly racist Council of Conservative Citizens, the John Birch Society, and a variety of other unsavory figures on the far right.

  • Jamie

    I agree that Paul should answer these questions, but it sounds as if you know the answers already and have no respect for the world-view that produces them. For instance, I’m a liberal Democrat, but can understand why he might think the appearance of armed militaias is a healthful sign. Not for their goals and not for their methods, but for the fresh perspective they bring on the way we do things in the US. They represent a useful symptom. Every generation needs to rexamine its received orthodoxy.

  • billsamuel

    If nominated, I mayh well vote for Ron Paul. But I do think it was highly irresponsible of him to authorize newsletters to be issued bearing his name, but not exercising any editiorial control or even knowledge. He has got to go into more depth about this whole thing if he is going to be a serious Presidential candidate. He’s said he didn’t know what was written in them and doesn’t agree with the cited statements, but to my knowledge he has not yet apologized for allowing these nuts to send out newsletters bearing his name without oversight. He needs to do that. It’s long ago, I don’t think he’s ever held some of the views cited, and I think he’s grown over the years, but he has to admit responsibility (he’s never denied authorizing these newsletters) and apologize for what went out under his name. He owes that to the voters of this country, and should stop evading it.

  • CANT TOUCH THIS

    I don’t give a damn how many Arab civilians and their children he’s killed. Barak is Black and I’m voting for him!

  • Xerxes

    I am 10 years younger than Ron Paul, I did a newsletter for many years written by various people. It was before the collapse of communism and would have said far nastier things about Russians and Chinese than anything Paul is said to have written.
    When I first visited the US I had to get off racially segregated buses on state lines and into the next segregated bus. Trying to discredit the only guy with a hope of saving the US economy is terrible. Today you are saying awful things about Iranians. Look at Ron Paul’s policies for 2012. If you don’t elect him you are going to go bust. Not a good thing for the world. We in Australia prefer English to Mandarin. Although I have great respect for the advances China has now made, the Chinese are a great people who are going to beat America very soon if America does not get its finances under control.

  • SteveHanken

    So if I disavow robbing a bank, or knowing about someone robbing a bank I should get off of any charge because I say I don’t know anything about it? Not in the real world. The least he could do is turn the reporters on to the people who wrote this stuff, if it wasn’t him and approved by him, let them answer to the charge and see if he did know what went out or not. That would give him some alibi, and make him more believable, if in fact he can be trusted and believed in the first place. As far as his platform is concerned, it seems tailor made for cherry pickers, If you like guns, he’s OK; if you like ending the war, which sounds rather radical for a gun nut, he’s your man! If you want to smoke pot, well nobody else has that on their agenda! However, if you want to live in a world that isn’t one where for the moment you get your single issue thing, but over all the place looks like a totalitarian state, you might reconsider support for this guy. Remember Mengele was a doctor too!

  • MikeHaxton

    My guess is that Paul wrote all of the articles. Probably in his basement awash in perspiration, like most paranoids. Paul is no different than any other corporate Republican. If it is good for the top 1% then it is goood.
    Meanwhile the middle class slides into genteel poverty, and our kids and grandkids will have wonderful jobs as butlers and gardeners for the wealthy, or other jobs with no benefits. Really wonderful future you guys are contemplating.

  • jussmartenuf

    Ron Paul says you should accept the answers he has given. Not an unreasonable statement, yet the answers are ignored in your article. It is impossible for a candidate to read and vet every word that is written about him or her. Is this just another hatchet job by left wing liberal journalists? I am a left wing progressive liberal myself and would never vote for Paul, yet i find some of his comments and views of sensible consideration and deserving of discussion. Yellow journalism is pure propaganda whether it is practiced by the right or left.

  • vshepparddesign

    Ron Paul wrote all of those Articles and he oversaw all in writing the divisive comments about blacks. As a black man I resent him and all of his ideology concerning blacks as criminals. What Ron wants is for Republican and everyone else to believe that by saying he “disavow”, what was written with out his knowledge, that everything is okay. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. I see you for what you are a Racist who want to turn back time where blacks have no say , and told what to do and think…..No Uncle Ruckus here Ron you can’t back step this issue. And everyone who agrees with him and follows him are todays racist also.

  • FUWBSHL10

    Without knowing the particulars, it would seem to me that this constant back and forth between views for and against any and all candidates and their policy(s) and personal viewpoints are the crux of the problems facing the American people. In Mr. Paul’s case he is entitled to his views. So are the people that share his views. However, railing against viewpoints is , it seems, exactly what our politicians and our media and THEIR handlers want US to waste OUR TIME on. That way, we don’t have / can’t find the time together as what we are (the 99%) and find a way to fix our problems, since our politicians thrive off of our inability to coalesce and form a united front purposing to solve our problems within our own ranks. As an example, I will pose a question. How many times in our nation’s history has a President been able to accomplish his campaign promises all on his own ? How many times has the will of the people been sidetracked by the very people that WE the PEOPLE elect to govern our nation along the lines of politics ? Case in point; a majority of common, every folks feel that the rich should shoulder a fair amount of the tax burden facing our country. But, the majority seat holders are against this. I ask you: should Congress risk the lively-hood of working class and unemployed Americans under the guise being the “lower taxes” party just to save tax dollars for the wealthy ? If a family making $50,000 would lose $83 / month if the tax cut extension would have failed, how much would the wealthiest 1% have lost / month ? Maybe not much, since the wealthiest 1% make their money from sources outside of manual labor. My overarching point is, WE the PEOPLE need to come together to make changes in the make-up of our leadership. If we can’t change the laws to reflect the views of the “common folks” (formed by the social elite when the Constitution was written) we can / could at least work together to elect officials who have OUR ( the 99%’s) welfare at the forefront of their agenda.

  • VincentReno

    Gee Conason; I think from your last article and this one too, that you do not care for Ron Paul that much. It would seem to me that your objectivity is clearly biased and you should probably report on something that you can be impartial to. Or you can carry on this angry media campaign against a candidate that you don’t care to vote for. But it’s not news.

  • NDMike

    Jamie is a bit too sanguine regarding armed militias and the “fresh perspective” they bring to problems. One of those fresh perspectives in 1995 was provided by Timothy McVeigh in Oklahoma City.

  • ghistorywriter

    The article did give Ron Paul’s, answers, jussmartenuf: he said he didn’t write them and didn’t read them and knows nothing about them, and then emphasizes his his answers by saying, Why don’t you accept the answers I give?
    It is no “waste of time” exploring Ron Paul’s views. In America, I believe any racist is automatically dismissed from any consideration of running for the presidency. It is divisive (as though this issue isn’t divisive enough already because some people simply will not accept reality of a diverse society), and may even be illegal, depending on how it plays out in action. He has never disavowed racism.
    As for believing that the private, armed militias bring some fresh air to the discussion–in what way? How can a bunch of guys armed to the teeth and threatening to march on Washington, for example, bring any fresh air in? The object is to stop the discussions. The object for MANY of these radicals is overthrow of the government. The underlying object, especially with a Black president, is to get rid of him, legally or illegally. Why else do the FBI and CIA keep a watch on these militias? And they DO act. Oklahoma is just one example.

    Armed militias are an OLD idea. It’s been tried, and it does not work. It just creates mayhem and often death.
    To say he should be given a free pass about these views is not what we want when we consider a presidential candidate. Unless he disavows these views, he still believes them.
    And as for reno, news is something NEW and we didn’t know about those newsletters and many of his earlier statements.
    Why isn’t Joe Conason entitled to his opinion. He is biased, but he’s also giving us accurate information that we should know, and it is NEWS to me and millions of others, who should know this.

  • ghistorywriter

    What is Paul’s view of what this country should do to get its finances in order? As best I understand it, allow a free-for-all. Anything goes. No regulations of any kind. No ethical or moral limits.
    I don’t think he is an economist; just an Ann Rand follower–and she was one of the dumbest and most divisive and 18th century people around. People should read her just to see what her followers believe.

  • Suthnautr

    These aren’t ten different questions (about 10 topics) but one question in 10 parts. BTW Abraham Lincoln had this to say on the topic: “If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how – the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what’s said against me won’t amount out all right, what’s said against me won’t amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.” Months at the White House by Francis B. Carpenter(Lincoln, Nebraska, University of Nebraska Press 1995), pp. 258-259″

  • indyfan2

    Earlier Jamie said “I’m a liberal Democrat, but can understand why he might think the appearance of armed militaias is a healthful sign. Not for their goals and not for their methods, but for the fresh perspective they bring on the way we do things in the US. They represent a useful symptom. Every generation needs to rexamine its received orthodoxy.”

    Armed militias is a healthful sign? They are in Iraq, Afghanistan, Mexico, Colombia and many other countries where human life is devalued. I doubt if killing people or threatening to kill is a fresh perspective except to hardened killers.

    Ron Paul needs to answer every question and not throw a hissy fit when pressed for answers. He made money off of disgusting words and ideas. If he did not agree with those words then he is a thief.

  • amos

    He claims he doesn’t know who wrote these comments? Yet he chose to accept money derived from these comments? Based on some of the comments here Racism is okay? If yes, then Fascism is okay? And aren’t these two diseases the same? Ron Paul would surely know about diseases.

  • terango.lf

    Paul was pandering to the militia’s, which potentaly were/are the Brown Shirts of this era. And as I used to tell my Miltia sympathetic friends; Remember the “Night of the Long Knives”.

  • CANT TOUCH THIS

    Barky MURDERS Muslim cilvilians, children and babies, yet Paul is the Racist? You folks sure are out of reality INSANE.
    WHY IS YOUR ANTI-MUSLIM RACISM NOT THE PROBLEM!!

  • CANT TOUCH THIS

    Barky MURDERS Muslim cilvilians, children and babies, yet Paul is the Racist? You folks sure are out of reality INSANE.
    WHY IS YOUR ANTI-MUSLIM RACISM NOT THE PROBLEM!!

  • TammyNieuwsma

    How many times does he have to answer questions about this? It was put to bed in 2007 when it came up. But I guess it’s the only dirt they can find on Dr. Paul so they will run stories about it over and over and over hoping it will hurt his chances. Pathetic

  • slacker787

    As the latest “not Romney” to rise to the top of the Republican cesspool of canditates the sunlight of the press is finally shining on him and we see him for the grotesque right wing paranoid he has been all along. It is sad to see the current crop of bigots pandering to fools is the best that the once great party of Lincoln can surface.

  • HONESTYISTHEBESTPOLICY

    As a man thinkest so is he. Surely many individuals in our society do not know and are not aware of this man and his past. It is easy to mask many things, but by our current actions and how we speak will continue to reveal much about us and our past. I have never really taken the bait on his take on every thing. His beliefs are far to anti government and he cannot really mask his distain and prejudice for others.

  • EATHERICH

    this government has been bought and paid for openly sence 1964. all these corrupt amoral puppets running for office are not worth spit. not one of them would tell the truth about anything . what their owners and handlers wish them to spout is all “WE THE PEOPLE” will ever hear.start prosicuting treason, indite the crooked , strip their wealth and put it in the generial fund. make the government a non profit as intended.instead of a home for lying parasites.

  • Ginico

    I really don’t care, Paul is so extreme, I would never even consider him and I think I’m in the majority!

  • dpaano

    I have to agree with you 100% in your comment. Until we get corporations OUT of our government’s pockets, we will NEVER have a politician that is “of the people, for the people, and by the people.” Even if we vote out all the ones we currently have….only more will step in that are in corporate pockets! It’s sad that our democracy has turned into a corpocracy….and until we get corporations and lobbyists OUT of our government…we will never again have a true democracy!!