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. Daniel

    No one cares about these newsletters. Look at what he's said for the past 30 years in his speeches. They say the complete opposite. They shouldn't have been written and Ron Paul disavowed them. Get over it CNN you don't know how to report on candidates.

    December 21, 2011 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  2. ivykid

    After being hounded for the hundredth time in a week about the couple of letters that other news sources have proven that he not only didn't write them, but named the ghost writer who did. I think that not only Ron Paul became disgusted; the CNN audience did as well. Get some new material.

    December 21, 2011 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  3. PSbrooklyn

    This whole thing is the equivalent of someone posting something to someone's blog. If the media can't find anything else – too bad for them. And the story is from 1996.

    December 21, 2011 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  4. ruben

    the establishment that blacked out Ron Paul before is now talking about him? Of course since hes a front runner in iowa, they would like to bring him down. GO Ron Paul!

    December 21, 2011 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  5. SciGuy

    Gloria Borger is a shill for the govt. This is old news long ago debunked and she knows it.

    December 21, 2011 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  6. Billd3

    Both Ron and his son Rand are ok with allowing restaurants to discriminate based on race again. The Pauls may not be overt racists, but their strict ideology blinds them to the real-life consequences allowing discrimination again would have on minority groups. Notice that there are never any black people who want to bring back segregation, only white Fox News Tea Party types. Sorry grandpa, you can't have my vote.

    December 21, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  7. George Stathos

    Gloria Borger is the biggest joke so far. She has single handly turned CNN into a Democratic mouth piece. I dont think she has ever said a nice thing about any Republican candidate, and the stuff with Ron Paul please!!!!!!! CNN is turning into Fox News but for the lefties, its a shame!!!

    December 21, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  8. Occiental man

    The comment allegedly made in the newsletter may not be politically correct, but it is factually true, and mainstream Americans know it. It will not hurt Paul in any significant way, but the tribal media are going to use any tactic they can to try and bring down Ron Paul's candidacy because he is a threat to Israel's handouts from the USA.

    December 21, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  9. Luke

    You've asked over and over and over again. He has answered over and over and over again. This is the ONLY thing you've got. Wolf Blitzer and Gloria Borger, great job on doing your masters bidding. Guess what? We see through your pathetic attempts to shake a man of true vision. Now, step aside, you LOSE. It is time to whip the bedsheets off the government and big business and get real change for the American people!

    December 21, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  10. ralph

    Ron Paul speaks the truth. Sorry if the truth hurts and doesn't play into CNN's agenda.

    December 21, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  11. Joe citizen abroad

    I agree with Paul. Why did Borger bring this up if she didn't have new information or a new development in the non-story? It'd be different if she was talking about legislation that he wrote or sponsored...or even voted for. It'd be different if she'd interviewed acquaintances of Paul's who recall him speaking this way around the time of the newsletters...or more importantly, recently. Or a recorded speech. Anything...but there's nothing. Bad journalism. I'd be testy too.

    December 21, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  12. Paul L

    Badgering Dr. Paul about a newsletter that he did not write, when he was not in office over twenty years ago and making it a BIG issue today is PURE denagration so CNN knock yourself out.

    During the height of segragation Dr. Paul delivered Babies of color for Free, how about you bring that up or is CNN sure a Troll Tool that they are become PURE EVIL!

    December 21, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  13. John

    I think Gloria Borger job here were to sensationalize a race discussion only. Very much as how the right tried to sensationalize Reverand Wrights involvment with Barrack Obama before his presidency. What this should tell CNN that very few people lose sleep at night with this line of juvenile sensationalism (not journalism) and that for people want to hear the real issues, not mispoken jargon of yesteryear.

    December 21, 2011 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  14. lr

    Just turned off CNN while they were covering this. Not a Ron Paul fan but this coverage was embarrassing.

    December 21, 2011 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  15. Micah

    He seemed to answer it just fine??? Why would they keep asking if he answers?

    December 21, 2011 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  16. Ryan

    Old News. He's answered the question. He disavowed the writings. Move on CNN.

    December 21, 2011 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  17. Tyler

    Funny how this is the top story on AC.

    The same same day Ron tops the polls.

    December 21, 2011 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  18. Jazzy

    This is EXACTLY why news sites like CNN are a liberal joke. Digging up dirt from 20+ years ago. Sure, that comes with politics. Here is why CNN is a joke: They never did this to Obama. Never. CNN is irrelevant and their ratings show that.

    December 21, 2011 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  19. Jack Lee

    It was not discovered in 2008. This was first "discovered" and investigated in 1996 by the Dallas Morning News.

    December 21, 2011 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  20. grover

    Ron Paul is not a racist. the president of the Austin NAACP, Nelson Linder, has come out supporting Ron Paul against these attacks. Dr. Paul has help thousands of minorities in his medical practice by offer free and reduced fees for those who couldn't afford it. Dr. Paul has stated time and time again that the War on Drugs hurts minorities more than anyone, and gave stats to back it up. Walter Williams has also supported Dr. Paul, as well as sites like If CNN was really interested in the truth you would interview many of the prominent African Americans who support Ron Paul, you would report what Ron Paul has stated in debates, in radio addresses, and in interviews on his support for minorities and the principles of individuality of libertarianism. but, you won't, because CNN isn't interested in truth. CNN is only interested in sensational headlines and attacking the status quo that CNN benefits so much from. welcome to CNN's version of Fox News No Spin Zone.

    December 21, 2011 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  21. Daryl

    CNN what's it like to harass an elderly man?
    Aslo is it an empty feeling to lose all journalistic integrity?Tabloid techniques/Entertainment tonight world affairs.What a joke.So how many times must the man answer your questions about those articles?20 years with the same answer.
    CNN spin doctors must be having a lovely day.

    December 21, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  22. mary

    Dr. Paul had every right to be testy. What part of no I didn't write them do you not understand. An employee of cnn should know just because you own the publishing Co. doesn't mean that you write the articles. nice try cnn I know you guys will have to try to find something else out about the only honest true patriot we have running for president.

    December 21, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  23. John

    I would get mad too if this WAS THE ONLY NEGATIVE the media can stir up. He has answered the questions over and over and over. They are simply not his words. He believes EVERYONE is created EQUAL and everyone has EQUAL RIGHTS. Quit trying to tear down the only American running in this race, while others get away with bailouts, infidelity, corporate hogwash, corruption, and other scandals that plague politics. It's absolute BUSH LEAGUE "journalism" by CNN. Guess what CNN? I am an individual, with my own logic and reasoning, no matter what you say I'm having my vote heard.

    RON PAUL 2012

    December 21, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  24. Amanda

    Yes very defensive because you are calling him a RACIST!
    Of course he's not. We you already talked about this... beating a dead horse is what comes to mind.

    Ron Paul 2012!

    December 21, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  25. Mary

    "You're a racist." Powerful words against Dr. Ron Paul, supposedly "justified" by the MSM because of a 22-year-old newsletter that has Ron Paul's name in the flag. He has stated many times that he didn't endorse the racist comments, nor did he write the offending articles. He has disavowed the newsletter not once, but many, many times.

    We in America are facing so many problems on both international and domestic fronts. We have a choice of believing that Dr. Paul is racist (hundreds of youtube clips of his speeches prove otherwise) or that Dr. Paul is trying to restore America's potential (his policies support that).

    What do you believe? Look at him. Is he a politician? Is he lying to you? Or is he trying to educate you and explain his policies?

    He wants to bring our troops home. He wants to stop giving billions to banks from taxpayer money. He wants to level the playing field so that small businesses have a chance. Is that a racist?

    December 21, 2011 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
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