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. paco

    I wonder if the people at CNN realize that they're showing more prejudice here than Ron Paul ever has.

    December 22, 2011 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  2. Jimmy from Jersey

    When there's no dirt on someone, keep reaching for straws. You got an answer and a committee that stated it was not Ron Paul's writings. Time to stop grasping for straws. I am a democrat supporting Ron Paul over Barack Obama or even if it were Hillary Clinton running against him! Paul's track record may be the best of any candidate ever. Are you telling me he cannot use that to his advantage? As I see it, he is easily the most electable for that fact. He'll bring in the republicans, the dems who actually want change and the independents who will be flabbergasted at such an honest politician with plans he's mapped out. He also predicted the market's collapse and the effect these wars will have on our economy. He is easily our best option.

    December 22, 2011 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  3. Ooga Booga Boo

    Can't deny Ron Paul is a no name, so now the media is gonna start the attacks!

    December 22, 2011 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  4. GaryB

    In today's Republican party, slamming minorities and the poor is actually a sure way to net more votes, so I don't think this will affect Paul's chances in the primary. Now, if by some chance he was able to win the nomination, it could affect his chances in the general election. But hey, that's why the Republicans keep Herman Cain around.

    December 22, 2011 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  5. Kenyon

    Who is behind your repeated attempts to marginalize the Honorable Dr. Ron Paul?? Who is writing your agenda??

    December 22, 2011 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  6. Trevor Sutcliffe

    Talking head Gloria Borger might have some credibility if she even pretended to give an unbiased perspective. She knows full well that Ron Paul did not write the inflammatory material that she is referring to. It flies in the face of everything that he's said or written since he began his career, and he is not a man who has ever been known for his reticence to speak his mind. It is unfortunate that this stuff was published under his name (Ron Paul & Associates), and he acknowledges this and disavows the material in full. It's important to note that the readership of this newsletter was estimated to be less than 100 people at the time. It is unfortunate that Borger felt compelled to attempt this defamation of character less than 36 hours after John King asked him essentially the exact same questions on CNN (in a much more respectful manner).

    December 22, 2011 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  7. ben

    SO essentially, the mainstream media is so desperate to take ron paul out of the race that they are desperately trying to pin him as a racist because someone wrote some dumb newsletters and put his name on them? wow, so lame.

    December 22, 2011 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  8. Bill

    Ron Paul's got the establishment running scared now. They're having to dreg up old news to try to create a controversy about him.

    December 22, 2011 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  9. tired

    in my country there is greed and racism. people in my country take from the poor to empower the rich! property tax, sales tax, payroll tax wow after all that tax are we in debt really? or could the money be in someones pocket? oh don't forget my country gambles with your future by making u invest in unstable stocks that could risk your 401k! then feed the entire world and won't feed u if u are a working person but your tax dollars feeds everyone else! when will it stop? let's talk real politics enough of the garbage!

    December 22, 2011 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  10. Kenneth B. Galbraith

    This is not news. News is called news because it is new. This is old and just brings up an inaccurate and previously addressed issue. CNN please focus on news. Would you re-report Dewey defeats Truman?

    December 22, 2011 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  11. dennis

    CNN is so baised towards the Democrats, CNN has a relentless attack and smear TV interviews all day, runs videos of public idiots accosting Republican Canidates like today with the nut case in Iowa, now their after poor ol Ron Paul, ran TV presentations making it a one sided attack on the House because they stood up to the 2 month insult Money Bags Senator Reid who passed a worthless bill, and ran home to hide out in Nevada with his Casino Friends. Admit it CNN you hate Republicans, Christians, and people with morals. How much do the Democrats pay you to be their propaganda machine?

    December 22, 2011 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  12. Paul

    That's all they have on Ron Paul??? lol

    If people don't vote for him for some news letter he didn't have a part in 20 years ago...... I'd like to see WHO they would vote for

    Well done CNN

    December 22, 2011 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  13. rep

    No reason to get testy now, Grandpa. It comes with the territory.

    Perhaps someone supposed to be so smart and (as his supporters say) so "consistent for so many years" should've paid a little more attention to what was being published in his name. Seriously. He's never even taken any of the supposed authors of these articles to task. Why wouldn't he have held the author(s) accountable publicly?? The fact that he hasn't makes me think he either was more involved in the writing of these articles than he's letting on, or that he gave tacit (or even explicit) approval to the articles' content when they were written.

    December 22, 2011 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  14. steven harnack

    So he's just another lying Republican. Other people's pasts are fair game but it's unfair to scrutinize things from his past with his name on them? Ron Paul could do a lot of good for a doctor!

    December 22, 2011 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  15. jo an

    If he did not know what was in a newsletter with his name on it..HE SHOULD excuse.

    December 22, 2011 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  16. Blain

    Is this the best you have CNN? I have looked into this on my own...did my own thinking and guess what...Ron Paul 2012!!!

    December 22, 2011 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  17. Bob

    Career politician. His flaky kid saw dad rake in the taxpayer millions and saw the light. 11 times this glory seeker has ridden the coat tails of the paying public, and he is greedy for more. Whack job!

    December 22, 2011 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  18. Devaanandh

    Doing your job CNN? Did you pester Newt about his ethical issues (personal&political) even once during the past few months? Did you question Mitt Romney about his flip-flopping on various issues? Why do you now do this to Ron Paul? He has already answered the question, he has disowned the news letters. If you have a problem with that why dont you try him in a Court instead of one dimensional slandering? The lady just sold her soul to the demon!

    December 22, 2011 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  19. greg strand

    great job cnn...digging up a decade old story that was already squashed.....get real

    December 22, 2011 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  20. Devaanandh

    Doing your job? Did you pester Newt about his ethical issues (personal&political) even once during the past few months? Did you question Mitt Romney about his flip-flopping on various issues? Why do you now do this to Ron Paul? He has already answered the question, he has disowned the news letters. If you have a problem with that why dont you try him in a Court instead of one dimensional slandering? The lady just sold her soul to the demon!

    December 22, 2011 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  21. Steve Moffett

    Why is this coming up again? This issue has been covered by CNN and the other "major" media outlets many many times before over the last 20 years. Every time it's come up, Ron Paul has given the same answers - that he did not know what was in these newsletters, that he does not agree with what's in them, and that they do not represent his opinions or political philosophy. And yet in (and after) the interview Borger keeps saying "I had to ask these questions." What? YET AGAIN?! You guys are clearly doing your best to drag this crap out again and hope some of it will stick to Ron Paul. This is OLD news – 20 years old. I don't see you guys reporting on anything else that happened 20 years ago and was promptly reported and analyzed at the time it appeared. Give me a break. Your transparency is obvious.

    December 22, 2011 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  22. Alan

    I believe Ron Paul when he says he wasn't behind the articles. But I have other questions.

    1. Who is behind the articles?
    2. Why didn't Ron Paul sue?

    Of course, if the author is another person named Ron Paul, that answers the questions. Regardless, the questions exist. I wonder if due diligence was followed. If so, what was it? If not, should Ron Paul be President?

    I'm sitting here trying to decide who to support and how to eventually vote. All these unanswered questions don't help. Leaving them unanswered, makes me less likely to vote for Ron Paul. If I find out Mr. Paul tried to discovered who wrote the articles but (perhaps) couldn't, then his "stock" would rise dramatically in my view.

    December 22, 2011 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  23. Don Lesch

    He was right to walk out on that interview.This has been asked and answered 1000 times .This is rediculous.

    December 22, 2011 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  24. really

    way to ask completely irrelevant questions from 2 or 3 decades go.. You could have asked any questions about policy instead you ask a rehashed question that has popped up so many times a simple google search would have revealed the answer dozens of times over.

    December 22, 2011 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  25. Kirk Blatti

    This is an important election, and Ron Paul is a serious candidate. CNN should be ashamed for treating him with such disrespect.
    We're running trillion dollar deficits, and you focus on whether Ron Paul made a joke, about the L.A. riots. The African Americans we're ripping up their own communities. The whole thing was a joke.
    Ron Paul is trying to save this country. Focus on the current issues.

    December 22, 2011 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
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