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. Aaron McEvoy

    It's fine to ask tough questions and it's fine to try and get to the bottom of a story, but it isn't very illuminating to ask the same question over and over and over and ignore the answers that you aren't looking for. Ron Paul is not a racist, even the NAACP president in Austin, TX said so 3 years ago the last time this came up. Youtube NAACP Austin branch Ron Paul

    December 21, 2011 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  2. Nancy

    The only one who appears "testy" in this interview is Gloria.

    December 21, 2011 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  3. VegasRage

    CNN trying to pump Gingrich, geeeeesh Gingrich is a 100 times worse.

    December 21, 2011 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  4. Perez

    Why is CNN bothering with this story still. It happened along time ago, he didn't know about it so there. You guys didn't do much coverage on Obama Afro supremacist church. Libs are mad that there is a Republican who attracts young people and celebrities.

    December 21, 2011 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  5. AQ

    Huh, turns out he *is* just another rich, white, racist Texan who is willing to lie, cheat and do whatever it takes to get in office. Just when I thought maybe, just maybe, he was different. Then again, his son had to learn from someone...

    December 21, 2011 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  6. m

    He is a testy, old man and like all long serving politicians he a track record that from time to time will come back to bite him in the posterior.

    December 21, 2011 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  7. Jeff

    CNN sure did not push Obama on issue like they did Ron Paul & I am not a Ron Paul fan, show me a news clip that shows you did, you can't find one, it does not exist! Prove me wrong! I hope you feel like you have done your job here when you sit on the side lines with Obama, a Bias, again prove me wrong! Was this News Media Bulling????

    December 21, 2011 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  8. donna

    I read all about this in 2008.Why is CNN pretending it's a new topic? They should just go back to their old articles and read their own conclusions. If this was anything, they would have brought it up at the beginning. It's absurd for them to bring it up now. It really looks like corruption in the media, who bought you CNN?

    Dr.Gupta should be ashamed of himself.

    December 21, 2011 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  9. CaliMafia

    Well, they didn't really represent Paul's views.............................except when they did!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 21, 2011 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  10. M.K.

    What's new about A Republican using back door racial remarks to gain support from the West and Southern white voters. Ronald Reagan did it when he referred to the welfare queens and Bush # 1 used it with the Willie Horton ad. Why do you think the red necks that wave the rebel flag all vote for the Republicans? They do not have enough sense to know or care that The Father of the Republican Party [Lincoln] pillaged and raped the south after they were beaten. Lincoln even allowed the carpet baggers and scalawags to run rough shod over the South for many years after the was was over.

    December 21, 2011 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  11. Erek

    CNN, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Dr Paul has taken moral responsibility for not being more aware of what was being published under his name. Period. End of story. The MSM is out to smear the one politician (currently running for President Of The United States) who is a man of the people. The real mission here is to put the message out that Ron Paul is a racist. Nothing could be further from the truth. Please, anyone, enlighten me, why would a racist advocate a presidential pardon to all non violent drug offenders? *crickets*

    Further, I challenge anyone to find Ron Paul making racial remarks at any time of his life, and seeing as there are countless thousands of videos of Dr. Paul on youtube there shouldn't be any trouble, right? Dont worry, i'll wait. No? Ok, then drop it, do your job, and give Ron Paul the coverage he deserves!

    Ron Paul 2012

    December 21, 2011 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  12. Faber McMullen

    CNN continues to try to destroy any one running against the "Annointed One".

    December 21, 2011 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  13. Paul K

    Ron Paul just doesn't get it. I couldn't agree more we need more money. The Fed has brought us such stable prices since 1913.

    December 21, 2011 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  14. Michael Hicks

    CNN you really are not doing yourselves a justice.

    This smear on Paul is so clear it's a same. Just read the reaction on other news outlets. Truly not good.

    December 21, 2011 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  15. StupidCNN

    Mr Wolf, I am seeing you on CNN as far as I remember. The fact that you asking Gloria what Ron Paul stands for is comedy.
    Everyone who know Ron Paul know what he stands for, even teens understand by listening to him once. I am not sure if you have brain or Pismo beach sand in your head. I guess you remember the questions you posed Ron Paul during GOP Primaries back in 2008. He gave same reply back then and now.

    December 21, 2011 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  16. Heather

    Of course he got irritated over the issue... You (CNN) keep badgering him! First you try to bury him by ignoring him in the media altogether, and since that didn't work, you bring up this again and again and again even though he's addressed the issue multiple times! Shame on you.

    December 21, 2011 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  17. Sean

    How many times does it have to be explained, the speech style and words used don't even sound like him. This is just another example of CNN attacking Republican candidates while pandering to the Democratic candidates.

    Keep it classy CNN.

    December 21, 2011 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  18. Adam

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    Mohandas Gandhi

    December 21, 2011 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  19. Tyler

    Good for him, if he answers a question he shouldn't have to repeat the same answer over and over again....this is exactly why people are calling the GOP race a "circus show"....the media wants to slander him for ratings.

    December 21, 2011 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  20. Enzo

    That's all they have to attack Ron Paul: Some stuff from 20 years ago that's been explained over and over and over...

    All you have to do with any other politician is to look at the past year and you could write a book about their skeletons.

    It's fair political game but cmon, get new material...

    December 21, 2011 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  21. Dorothy Fairview

    He answered the question. That is that. Made of it what you will. And the media will continue to try to make something out of nothing because he is unassailable in his personal life . Can we just discuss the issues: ongoing war, fiat money, inflation and the destruction of the middle class, bailouts to private industry and bankers, government spending, etc. Change the station .

    December 21, 2011 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  22. Frank

    He answered the question, but you didn't accept his answer. What do you expect from him? Badgering people for a different answer doesn't change the fact of the answer they give. So what are you saying, the "truth" is a point of view? Your truth is different? Better? Convenient?

    December 21, 2011 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  23. canada

    wow cnn, surprise you'd ask something u asked 4 years ago.
    why dont you pull out ur old video of asking him, and him giving u the same answer, dont pretend this is anything but to call him a racist for something he didnt do, and doesnt stand by.

    December 21, 2011 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  24. BlackDynamite

    Now that Paul is gaining strength, the media establishment goes on the attack.
    If he didn't write this stuff, than it's a non-story

    CNN has it's orders to start the Paul teardown.
    Let's see if The People are smart enough to see through this smoke screen......

    December 21, 2011 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  25. freedomdem

    funny cnn didnt harp on spitzer or any other dem about their actions. hes right, cnn brings racist charges up against anyone they dont like

    December 21, 2011 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
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