GOP presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, admitted that his lack of oversight over controversial newsletters published under his name called into question his management style, but he said it was a “human flaw” and that the newsletters did not reflect his views on race relations.
As his Iowa poll position has strengthened, Paul has faced fresh scrutiny from fellow candidates for his foreign policy positions, as well as controversy over the newsletters published in the 1980′s and 1990′s that contained bigoted statements against minorities. Paul has disavowed the newsletters, saying that he did not read or write the controversial statements.
“I don’t think anybody in the world has been perfect on management, everybody that’s ever worked for them,” Paul told me this morning on “This Week. “So, yes… it’s a flaw. But I think it’s a human flaw… I admit that I’m an imperfect person and didn’t monitor that as well.”
“I was not the editor. I was the publisher. And there were some very bad sentences put in,” Paul added. “I did not write those. I did not review them… And that is an error on my part.”
But Paul said he has addressed the issue of race relations more than any other candidate, and that his stances against bias in drug arrests and the death penalty reflect his views more than the newsletters.
“You and others should look at all my other statements and my defense of civil liberties and race relations,” Paul said. “I’m very comfortable with my viewpoints, believing very sincerely — those people who know me know exactly where the defect is in race relations today. It’s in the judicial system, where minorities are mistreated more so than anybody else.”
With two days to go before the Iowa caucuses, Paul remains at the top of the field in the state, with 22 percent support in the latest Des Moines Register poll released Saturday – just two points behind front-runner Mitt Romney.
But while Paul is near the top of the field for the caucuses, 29 percent of Iowa voters also said in the Register poll that they believed Paul would be the least electable candidate in the general election against President Barack Obama – the highest total of the GOP field.
Paul dismissed that notion, saying that “if I’m leading in the polls, that means I’m electable” and that “the American people are with me more now than ever before.”
“We’re doing well in the polls. Our crowds are getting bigger,” Paul said. “And the people who are complaining are the ones who are way down in the polls, so they don’t have a whole lot of credibility about my electability.”
“Nobody can prove anything until we have a real election,” Paul added. “Our campaign feels pretty good about how things are going… It’s a mistake if people want to write me off.”