A blast from the past is blowing a big hole in Ron Paul’s campaign.
A recently surfaced video from 1995 shows the GOP presidential hopeful discussing controversial newsletters that he claimed this week he didn’t even read until about 2001.
The Texas congressman has come under fire in recent days for the newsletters, called Ron Paul’s Political Report, Ron Paul’s Freedom Report and the Ron Paul Survival Report, which went out under his name in the late 1980s and early 1990s during his time in and out of office.
Some contained a series of racist statements, including, “We are constantly told that it is evil to be afraid of black men, it is hardly irrational.”
During the 1992 Los Angeles riots, another read, “Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks.”
In the resurfaced C-SPAN interview, Paul — then out of office and trying to return to Congress — describes the “educational” newsletters and seems to be knowledgeable of their contents.
“It covered a lot about what was going on in Washington: financial events, especially some of the monetary events, since I had been especially interested in monetary policy, had been on the banking committee and am still very interested in that subject,” said the libertarian-leaning lawmaker.
“This newsletter dealt with it. This has to do with the value of the dollar, the pros and cons of the gold standard, and of course the disadvantages of all the high taxes and spending our government seems to continue to do.”
The video was posted on YouTube by Alexander Kaczynski, a self-described “political junkie” who has unearthed several old videos of current presidential hopefuls.
The candidate’s spokesman, Jesse Benton, told USA Today that Paul was detailing an investment newsletter and that the incendiary comments were in others he did not write.
But on CNN Wednesday, a testy Paul — who is surging in the polls in Iowa ahead of the caucuses — said he only read them on occasion and did not write them. The normally mild-mannered congressman eventually walked out on the interview.
In 1996, Paul told the Dallas Morning News that the material was accurate but had merely been taken out of context.
Critics say the newsletter flap could hurt him in Iowa, arguing that although the controversial newsletters were reported on before, many voters were unaware of them until now.
The seeming flip-flopping and “controversy makes Paul look like just another politician,” said the Christian Science Monitor’s Peter Grier.
Leon Wolf of the conservative blog Red State said the C-SPAN video was damaging.
For “not having any inkling about what was in it, Paul was remarkably well informed as to its contents,” he said.
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