January 10th, 2008
04:05 PM ET
5 years ago

Ron Paul '90s newsletters rant against blacks, gays

 This is a copy of one of the Ron Paul Political Report newsletters, which has stirred controversy.

This is a copy of one of the Ron Paul Political Report newsletters, which has stirred controversy.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A series of newsletters in the name of GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul contain several racist remarks - including one that says order was restored to Los Angeles after the 1992 riots when blacks went "to pick up their welfare checks."

CNN recently obtained the newsletters - written in the 1990s and one from the late 1980s - after a report was published about their existence in the New Republic.

None of the newsletters CNN found says who wrote them, but each was published under Paul's name between his stints as a U.S. congressman from Texas.

Related video: Paul: 'I'm not a racist'

Full story

- CNN's Brian Todd

Filed under: Ron Paul
soundoff (143 Responses)
  1. curtis in WI

    We'll soon know one way or another if this is a real newsletter of his or not. You can be sure his staff, his supporters and every reporter out there is looking for archived copies from another source to compare and contrast. The truth will come out and soon.

    It could be an attempt at a smear job – but why? He's no threat to anyone. Yes, he has been getting some money and gaining some support but not enough to be a viable candidate. And frankly – he's got some way out ideas that make that unlikely to change.

    January 10, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  2. Melanie

    Old news, and he denounced this sooooo long ago. Fired the ghostwriter/staffer who ACTUALLY wrote it and started writing his own personal letters to avoid that happening EVER again.
    Oh, a presidential candidate who can actually learn from his past mistakes. Not like the lot that is up there now. I guess that means that the mainstream IS starting to sweat it. Bad press is still press.

    January 10, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  3. J P

    Sadly enough, this is the best thing that has happened to paul. With his face on page one of cnn.com he finally received some decent coverage.

    And everyone knows that he is not racist. He is the opposite of racist, fighting for the every individual.

    It's not hard to believe that he had no idea these comments were made under the name of his newsletter. It happened while he was a practicing doctor and on a busy schedule giving speeches. He even owned up to the fact that he should have more carefully watched them.

    A real man owns up to his mistakes, and Ron Paul is 10x more a man (or respectable person, as not to be sexist against Hillary) than any other candidate.

    January 10, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  4. CensoredByCNN, Roxboro, NC

    I for one am sick of voting the most likely winning candidate in the party of my choosing. It typically is simply the lesser of two evils. This time, I'm voting my conscience whether I think my guy has a chance of winning or not. At least that way I'll feel like less of a fool.

    BTW,,,Ron Paul is the only candidate who thinks the Constitution is to be followed and honored.

    January 10, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  5. JK

    No surprise here. As soon as his campaign started getting a foothold, the political assassins would be coming out of the woodwork. If it hadn't been this, it would've been something else, or they would have started in on his age, or found some other way to dean scream him out of the way.

    Let's face it – the corporations that run this country just will not stand for a Ron Paul presidency. Pull all the troops out of Iraq and take away their meal ticket? Not a chance. Eliminate all these do-nothing bureaucracies sponging our tax dollars and make all in them look for real jobs? Dream on.

    So now, Paul will go from the guy warning us about our fiscal and foreign policy Hindenburgs to the guy having to spend all his airtime defending himself against a bunch of ghost-written newsletters made over a dozen years ago. Priorities and all that.

    Now we can go back to our regularly scheduled programming, where we choose the democrat most likely to spend us into oblivion and the republican most likely to turn the hornets nest in the middle east into a mushroom cloud and then wonder aloud where all the worthy leaders have gone right before we exercise our right to the evil of two lessers.

    January 10, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  6. Bill Culver, Covington,LA

    As much as I hated to I was going to vote for Ron Paul, but now that I find he did not write the comments I have to find another candidate. What a waste

    January 10, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  7. Rafi, NY NY

    Ron Paul "really won" in New Hampshire?

    Come on. Support is one thing; blind, truth-denying, cult-like fanaticism is something entirely different.

    January 10, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  8. Joe, SoCal

    Ron Paul is a loser, and good for America that most people, except these wacko Ron Paul bots, don't take him seriously.

    January 10, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  9. Amanda Kay

    What's really amazing about this story is not what was written, but how long ago it was. Ron Paul is not a racist. He made a mistake by not having someone he trusted oversee those newsletters. However, ALL the canidates have made some slip of the tounge ON CAMERA. There is no proof that Ron Paul said those things, none at all. You have Romney call Obama, Osama several times. You have Huckabee saying AIDS patients need to be quarantined... No one is perfect. If we never move forward in this country, we will never return to greatness. Watch Ron Paul defend himself to Wolf Blitzer, his passion is overwhelming. If you can not respect that, they you yourself are small minded, not Ron Paul.

    GO RON PAUL!!!

    January 10, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  10. WeTheSheeple

    Nicely timed hit piece and one of the few times CNN has even mentioned Ron Paul in their "Political Ticker". Not to mention Fox News is now inviting him to the debate tonight now that they have something to slander him with after barring him from the previous debate.

    Ron Paul defended himself well enough on Wolf Blitzer's Situation Room today. Correctly pointing out that these newsletter comments do not match his writing, character or his well documented philosophy in any way. Anybody that has been paying attention to Ron Paul knows that he doesn't have a racist bone in his body. This is the establishment destroying a real man of integrity and people wonder why we only ever end up with corrupt sleazebags in office. Why is it that the good leaders are the one's that end up being assassinated by a loner with a gun or character assassinated by a smear campaign?

    His entire libertarian philosophy is staunchly anti-bigotry. He has always been the most humble, honest and polite candidate never stooping to the lows of personal attacks like the others. Never laughing in the background while another candidate states his opinion.

    He is firmly against the "War on Drugs" which is a truly racist system. Throwing minorities into prison for an addiction problem? How civilized.

    He is firmly against the "War in Iraq" which is a truly racist invasion of a Muslim nation that had nothing to do with terrorism or national security.

    Meanwhile, the media hypes the war and never addresses the real inequality in America today. Yet they have the gall to associate Ron Paul with racism.


    January 10, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  11. Tyler Andrews, GA

    This is disgusting. Who does David Gergen think he is? This guy should be thrown out for implying that we "need to get to the bottom of this". David – this is TRASH! You want to get to the bottom of it, you go right ahead. Don't be surprised when you get your hands dirty and sully the good name of a good person. When/if that day comes you better give a hearty apology.

    Anyone who knows Dr. Paul and has seen him in public knows that he is not racist. This is a smear campaign. End of story.

    January 10, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  12. Jose Card - Independent

    Now Ron Paul got some people really worried and here comes the smear.
    Dr. Paul is making history, which makes the establishments very uncomfortable.
    This is understandable.

    But this is our chance for real, I mean REAL CHANGE for the better.

    January 10, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  13. Derek

    Anyone who thinks that CNN 'only' just found out about these papers is a fool. They knew about they a long time ago and waited until the perfect moment.

    January 10, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  14. Evan

    I wouldn't be surprised if the newsletters were being rehashed by the Romney campaign. It's the only way they can stop Ron Paul's momentum because apparently his money and good hair can't.

    The media refuses to allow this guy air time to get an intelligent argument out there to be debated. Know why? If he did that, all the pundits who picked Obama to win in New Hampshire would be out of a job.

    Go figure...

    January 10, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  15. David-Paul Niner

    Last evening I was watching one of CNN's roundtable discussions. Anderson Cooper, Jack Cafferty, and Wolf Blitzer were present along with at least three other pundits.

    Someone (maybe AC, maybe one of the pundits) posed the questions (I'm paraphrasing here: "With the race being so condensed does anyone notice that we're not really reporting on the candidate's positions...but more on personal issues."

    Almost immediately Jack Cafferty responded (and I don't know whether this was intended to be heard, because he said it in a low voice) "well, that's partly our fault."

    So even the commentators themselves are aware of how trivial this campaign coverage has become. Very interesting confession.

    I do give Wolf some credit for allowing Dr. Paul to have his say this evening; he deserved at least that much. Dr. Paul was angry, and with good reason, and did a fine job of defending his integrity. I feel that both he and Richardson have a tremendous amount of class, and both have handled themselves very well recently.

    January 10, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  16. Nate

    When people say they are black/white/hispanic or whatever race or ethnicity they may be, it doesn't add any weight to your argument. Frankly, who cares what race you are–make your point, and if it's good we'll acknowledge it.

    January 10, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  17. Jason

    Tell me this: If Ron Paul is such a racist, than why is he the only candidate who opposes the racist War on Drugs which systematically hurts blacks?

    This stuff only really works if you're a frontrunner, which Paul isn't. It would hurt Giuliani or McCain or Romney worse.

    Secondly, if any of this were true, than where are the people ready to make that claim? Where are the people who are trying to capitalize on the guy ready to admit they've heard him say racist things?

    It's all a hitpiece that came out the day of the primary in New Hampshire because there are some mainstream, status quo people out there who were afraid of his message. He's resonating with a lot of people, and with Thompson not doing well in South Carolina, there is still a shot that Paul can make a mark in the south with those conservative voters.

    January 10, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  18. aa

    I don't get the Paul supporters. Mike Huckabee faced the heat for his part in the release of a serial rapist and Rudy Giuliani faced heat for his ties to Kerik. What's the difference? Is CNN or the media out to get them too?

    The fact is: Ron Paul's oversights, like Mike's and Rudy's, ARE newsworthy.

    There is no plot. There is no conspiracy.

    Get over it. Do your damage control and get on with your campaign, as have Huckabee and Giuliani. Stop whining. Stop tossing up "it's a conspiracy" foolishness when in reality the problem with Paul's campaign is that most people don't embrace his ideas. Period.

    Have the honesty your candidate has. Ask Paul and he'll tell you that he WISHES the public would embrace his ideas but he realizes many don't. Ron Paul knows and tells the truth about his candidacy. He KNOWS he doesn't have popular support, nor votes to go with it.

    Unlike his supporters, Ron Paul IS honest about why his candidacy trails.

    January 10, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  19. Dan

    No surprise here. All the pro-establishment (Republicans AND Democrats) sheep line up to take shots at the man who truly believes in the Constitution, individual liberty, and a free America.

    Take a good hard look in the mirror if you want to see the real threat to the United States. It's not the left-wing socialists or the neocons – it's you. The same mindless sheep that vote them into power for "bread and security."

    Americans have learned nothing from history.

    January 10, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  20. VCV, Bowdoin, ME

    Ron Paul supporters will never be happy unless Paul is on the news 24 hours a day. He gets an appropriate amount of media coverage given his ranking in the polls. Quit acting like spoiled children and spamming the Ticker simply because a post about Bill Richardson doesnt reference Ron Paul in every sentence. Its ok to support Paul, just dont cram his name into every hole out there on the internet.

    January 10, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  21. Dave

    The preceding article was brought to you by:

    F O X

    January 10, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  22. Jonathan Davis

    Why don't you show the newsletter in it's entirety. When I see excerpts superimposed over a blurred image of the newsletter, I have got to wonder why the reporter doesn't want me to see the whole thing. Am I a child? Do I need to have the highlighted version? How can any of you comment on this with no real evidence of anything?

    January 10, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  23. Dan

    Amazing to me how this becomes news. It is news and political foder that Ron Paul is a "racist", Mitt Romney is a Morman. These stories are the media's way of controlling the election. They have not reported on Obama's own form of "reverse racism" by religion. His religion is more of a question mark for this Democrat than those afore mentioned. If you visit the website for the church which Obama mentioned his church during his appearance with Oprah. It's the Trinity Church of Christ. I found this interesting.

    If you look at the first page of their website, you will learn that this congregation has a non-negotiable commitment to Africa. No where is AMERICA even mentioned. This guy desires to lead America while his loyalty is totally vested in a Black Africa! I cannot believe this has not been all over the TV and newspapers.

    To think that Obama has even the slightest chance in the run for the presidency, is really scary.

    This is the web page for the church Barack Obama belongs to: http://www.tucc.org/about.htm

    If you choose not to post this blog, please check the validity and report on the facts of Obama's religion and racism as you would other "candidates" for the presidency of the greatest nation of the world.

    January 10, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  24. Phil Memphis, TN

    OK, I'll try this one more time. First, CNN did not report this first. It was all over the liberal talk radio shows yesterday and before. 2nd, these newsletters were written over many years (over 10) so it wasn't one unedited newsletter that was retracted the next month. 3rd, we hold candidates responsible for knowing what is in their commercials and what their staff do, but Paul supporters don;t think we should hold him responsible for a newsletter he sponsored, in his name, for over 10 years that supposedly espoused his views and beliefs. It slandered blacks on numerous occasions, and made thinly veiled references about Jews at other times.

    Finally, when did the Ron Paul campaign ever get a foothold? He had no chance of being elected before this was put out and still has no chance afterwards.

    January 10, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  25. Seam, Philly, Pa

    The fact of the matter is that his name is on the article. Whether he wrote it or not, he is still responsible. When will Paul stand up and take ownership, and provide an apology? There is no excuse for him not knowing what was written, or who wrote it, especially with his name tied to it. I don't think he should be accused of being a racist; however, he needs to explain a lot more. He can't just brush this aside as a non-issue.

    January 10, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
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