ABC News’ Z. Byron Wolf Reports: On the night of the New Hampshire primary, the New Republic is leading its website with a story entitled "Angry White Man: The Bigoted Past of Ron Paul."
The writer, James Kirchick, dug up copies of old newsletters published with regularity since 1978 and all with some iteration of Paul’s name on the banner…."Ron Paul’s Freedom Report," "Ron Paul Political Report" and "The Ron Paul Survival Report."
Some of the passages are quite shocking, attacking Martin Luther King, Jr. and several social and ethnic groups.
The campaign, which has been trying to appeal to Democrats and Independents on the strength of Paul’s opposition to the Iraq war, issued a statement this afternoon disavowing Paul from the newsletters which bear his name.
But there is no denying that Paul’s brand of Libertarianism reaches beyond the political mainstream. Speaking at the Liberty Forum conference in Nashua, N.H. yesterday, Paul took the stage after a speech from John Birch Society President John McManus.
In the article, Kirchick asserts that the older, pre-1999 newsletters, "reveal they are decades worth of obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays. In short, they suggest that Ron Paul is not the plain-speaking antiwar activist his supporters believe they are backing–but rather a member in good standing of some of the oldest and ugliest traditions in American politics."
And, with copies he retrieved from the University of Kansas library and the Wisconsin historical society, Kirchick has some pretty damning quotes to back the assertion up.
Some of the newsletters are archived back to 1999 here.
Here are just two excerpts from the article on the treatment of African Americans in the older newsletters:
On Martin Luther King Jr.: Martin Luther King Jr. earned special ire from Paul’s newsletters, which attacked the civil rights leader frequently, often to justify opposition to the federal holiday named after him.
"What an infamy Ronald Reagan approved it!" one newsletter complained in 1990. "We can thank him for our annual Hate Whitey Day."
In the early 1990s, a newsletter attacked the "X-Rated Martin Luther King" as a "world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours," "seduced underage girls and boys," and "made a pass at" fellow civil rights leader Ralph Abernathy. Another ridiculed black activists who wanted to rename New York City after King, suggesting that "Welfaria," "Zooville," "Rapetown," "Dirtburg," and "Lazyopolis" were better alternatives.
The same year, King was described in the newsletter as "a comsymp, if not an actual party member, and the man who replaced the evil of forced segregation with the evil of forced integration."
On the 1992 Los Angeles riots: "Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks three days after rioting began," reads one passage.
According to the newsletter, the looting was a natural byproduct of government indulging the black community with "’civil rights,’ quotas, mandated hiring preferences, set-asides for government contracts, gerrymandered voting districts, black bureaucracies, black mayors, black curricula in schools, black TV shows, black TV anchors, hate crime laws, and public humiliation for anyone who dares question the black agenda."
It also denounced "the media" for believing that "America’s number one need is an unlimited white checking account for underclass blacks."
To be fair, the newsletter did praise Asian merchants in L.A., but only because they had the gumption to resist political correctness and fight back. Koreans were "the only people to act like real Americans," it explained, "mainly because they have not yet been assimilated into our rotten liberal culture, which admonishes whites faced by raging blacks to lie back and think of England."
Gays and Jews don’t fare much better. When the subject of the newsletters has come up in the past, as it did in a New York Times profile last year, the campaign has said Paul had a laisez-faire attitude to editing — or even reading — submissions to the newsletters published with his name on them.
His campaign, with its varied, raucous and sometimes crackpot supporters, is run the same way. But that does not change the fact that the newsletters include the words "Ron" and "Paul" in the title.
The Paul campaign issued a preemptive statement from the Republican Congressman from Texas, disavowing some of the more sensational passages:
"The quotations in The New Republic article are not mine and do not represent what I believe or have ever believed. I have never uttered such words and denounce such small-minded thoughts.
"In fact, I have always agreed with Martin Luther King, Jr. that we should only be concerned with the content of a person’s character, not the color of their skin. As I stated on the floor of the U.S. House on April 20, 1999: ‘I rise in great respect for the courage and high ideals of Rosa Parks who stood steadfastly for the rights of individuals against unjust laws and oppressive governmental policies.
"This story is old news and has been rehashed for over a decade. It’s once again being resurrected for obvious political reasons on the day of the New Hampshire primary.
"When I was out of Congress and practicing medicine full-time, a newsletter was published under my name that I did not edit. Several writers contributed to the product. For over a decade, I have public ally taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name."