Ron Paul defensive over past newsletters
December 21st, 2011
09:20 PM ET
11 years ago

Ron Paul defensive over past newsletters

Mt. Pleasant, Iowa (CNN) - Presidential candidate Ron Paul was defensive Wednesday when pressed about controversial newsletters in the 1980s and 1990s that were in his name.

When asked during an interview with CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger whether he looked at them when they were published and decided they did not represent him accurately, he said "not all the time." Pressed on whether he read them he said, "Not all the time. Well, on occasion, yes."

Paul, who had left Congress at the time and was practicing medicine, has repeatedly disavowed the controversial remarks in the newsletters.

"I've never read that stuff. I've never read - I came - I was probably aware of it 10 years after it was written and it's been going on 20 years that people have pestered me about this and CNN does it every single time," he said.

Among the racially charged comments contained in the publications was this one from 1992: "Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks." They also contained some conspiracy theories.

When Borger asked him if this was a legitimate topic, he became testy saying "Yeah and when you get the answer, it's legitimate that you sort of take the answers I gave. You know what the answer is? I didn't write them, didn't read them at the time, and I disavow them. This is the answer."

Existence of the controversial newsletters, which listed Paul as publisher and carried such names as "Ron Paul's Freedom Project," the "Ron Paul Political Report," the "Ron Paul Survival Report" and the "Ron Paul Investment Letter," got renewed attention in 2008 by a story in the New Republic and was followed up on by the Weekly Standard.

Paul can expect more scrutiny with the news he is at the top of some polls in Iowa, less than two weeks before the Jan. 3 caucuses.

During a swing Wednesday, he drew large crowds and enthusiastic responses to his anti-establishment message and calls for fiscal restraint.

Paul's campaign has hit Newt Gingrich hard in campaign commercials accusing him of "serial hypocrisy" for changing positions and using his influence to help build his consulting business.

When CNN asked him whether he would be willing to take down these ads because many Iowans have voiced displeasure with the negative nature of this year's campaign he said he would not.

"I don't consider them attacking him unfairly. I mean, it just points out the position he's been on. That's my job, to show what my opponents do. They flip-flop around and they change positions, and if the media won't do it, I should do it," he said in the interview.

- Follow Kevin Bohn on Twitter: @KevinBohnCNN

Filed under: 2012 • Ron Paul
soundoff (311 Responses)
  1. John Drinkwater

    Well, he answered the question. And then, instead asking of him more questions, you simply started to lecture and badger him. So what do you expect? He was too patient, if anything.

    December 22, 2011 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  2. Indee

    This again....thats fine anyone who actually looks into this will find nothing there. I live in texas, my meetup group is half minorities. The only reason why I dislike articles like these is my assumption that some people only get their news from the MSM. I guess thats their assumptin as well.

    December 22, 2011 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  3. Ozarkhomesteader

    How on earth does Ron Paul not take responsibility for a newsletter published under his name? How much money did he take for the newsletter? I do not see how any moral person can be interested in Paul after this latest revelation.

    December 22, 2011 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  4. Sickof MSMbias

    Gloria Borger is married to LANCE MORGAN. Lance is the chief communications and crisis strategist of POWELL´╗┐ TATE. Powell Tate is a D.C. firm that represents every part of the very same MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX that Ron Paul wants to reduce!

    This is a total conflict of interest! Her husband's firm includes overseeing a coalition to support congressional funding to parts of the U.S. Military! All of these "journalists" seem to be profiting from these wars!

    December 22, 2011 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  5. Dokk

    This is not an interview but a witch hunt! Poor, poor journalism and Borger ought to be ashamed! He gave her an answer and he was very patient with her questions until she kept asking the same thing over and over again. Move on and ask questions about the current issues already! This isn't reporting. CNN needs to get some real reporters instead of the yellow journalist, tabloid smear jockies that you have! Truly sad...

    December 22, 2011 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  6. Ann

    Really CNN?? I don't blame Ron Paul -one bit. Of course this is the article you would come up with for him walking out...such bias reporting it seriously makes me want to permanently shut off CNN. It is hard to stay a faithful CNN fan when you totally screw up such an important interview that this one had the potential to be. HE IS FIRST IN IOWA and it is barely getting a nod by the media!!!! The media is doing their best to discredit / count out – Paul – and yet he keeps on rising!!! It makes me want to get out and campaign for the guy...GET REAL!!!! GET WITH THE PROGRAM!!!! Not ONE of the other GOP candidates have a snowball chance...I cannot WAIT to see Ron Paul win this election....and then biased media – like CNN – can sit around and dine on crow.

    December 22, 2011 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  7. Give

    Why report on something that has already been settled?

    December 22, 2011 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  8. Rick

    I think I'd like Ron Paul a little more if he wasn't such a whiner. Besides being clueless about economics, of course. He's right about cutting back on defense, but we don't need him to do that. That said ... i hope he wins the GOP nomination. LOL

    December 22, 2011 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  9. joe smith

    touch a ouchy nerve this morning..ok take your ball, and go home, it's where you belong any way..

    December 22, 2011 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  10. Will

    Gloria Borger is married to Lance Morgan. Lance is the chief communications and crisis strategist of Powell´╗┐ Tate.

    Powell Tate is a D.C. firm that represents every part of the very same MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX that Ron Paul wants to reduce. SURPRISE SURPRISE!

    This is a total conflict of interest. Her husband's firm includes overseeing a coalition to support congressional funding to parts of the U.S. Military.

    Clearly Gloria had an agenda with Mr. Paul by attempting to ask the same question 20 different ways. I don't blame him one bit for getting frustrated and wanting to end the interview.

    December 22, 2011 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  11. jaline

    I'm certainly no Ron Paul fan, but I don't blame him for walking out of that interview. It's one thing to ask a question; it's another to BADGER the interviewee. Just once I'd like to see someone with the guts to ask Obama some pointed questions in regard to the black liberation theology he listened to every Sunday for 20 years. But then, the mainstream media is GUTLESS.

    December 22, 2011 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  12. Anon

    Ooo smear campaign in progress! And it's a sequel! Sec, popcorn.

    December 22, 2011 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  13. Chad

    Paul was not defensive, but annoyed with stupidity.

    December 22, 2011 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  14. christopherthrobbin

    Really. After reading about this "story" on another site. I read dozens and dozens of comments posted by readers.
    Went here to cnn to see whatanother prospective may be. And, no comments at all.
    That says a lot. That says everything about the media and their followers.
    Come on America....

    December 22, 2011 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  15. David

    Im voting for Ron Paul for sure.

    December 22, 2011 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  16. Sean

    So he didn't write them, he didn't read them, and it happened 20 years ago. That's irrelevant if I've ever seen it. Thanks for wasting everyone's time CNN.

    December 22, 2011 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  17. Ron

    Ron Paul would be a dangerous and ineffective President, and once we get beyond Iowa we'll see that in the results. He's another Neville Chamberlain who believes that the answer to the world's problems is us putting our head in the sand and ignoring them until they ring our front door meaner and nastier by far than they would have been had we solved them earlier.

    December 22, 2011 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  18. Mike

    Ron Paul is probably just as dangerous to this country as obama.

    December 22, 2011 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  19. Daniekl F. Rodriguez

    Mr. Kevin Bohn is wrong to become judgemental on Dr. Paul's reaction to the berating from CNN. Why should he have to keep repeating himself on such a critical and extremely unpleasant subject? I'm not saying Dr. Paul is perfect but he is no bigot but now I do know CNN has just a few more idiots in their employ than previously thought.

    December 22, 2011 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  20. Barnacle Bill

    Just another career politician lying about the past and pointing fingers at everyone else. Let's face it: all of them lie. In fact, everyone lies. Some of us accept this, and some of us are in denial, but all of us lie. Daily.

    December 22, 2011 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  21. dan

    Why does this reporter waste valuable time on such a stupid subject. We have so many important actually issues than the publication of a stupid paper 2 decades ago. She is not a real reporter and should loose her job. CNN should be embarrassed.

    December 22, 2011 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  22. Mark

    Ron Paul kind of has a point I heard about this last presidential election cycle, it couldn't be more of a dead horse.

    December 22, 2011 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  23. Bill, NY

    This only confirms what I somewhat suspected after first reading comments made by the younger(Rand) Paul promoting the rights of a busines to discriminate against groups or individuals. The apple did not fall far from the tree. Ha! And Paul called Bachmann a bigot! Guess it truly takes one to know one.

    December 22, 2011 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  24. anonCNN

    I'm not a fan of Ron Paul, but this seemed like too much by CNN.

    December 22, 2011 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  25. incendiarymuch

    Why does she continue to beat a dead horse? Is that what "journalism" has come to these days? Good job, CNN.

    December 22, 2011 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
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