The Ron Paul 2012 presidential campaign is now on the defensive as allegations of controversial newsletters resurface among media outlets. One such letter, an eight-page rant from 1993, features explicit racist and homophobic language as well as paranoid suggestions of big government conspiracies.
This is quite simply a turning point for the Texas Republican congressman’s campaign.This newsletter scandal will put Paul on the defensive for the remainder of the campaign until his campaign succeeds in winning enough delegates to secure the nomination or until he drops out of the contest entirely. One thing is certain however, in matters of racism allegations and proposed intolerance, the media is relentless. Stories that have the potential to break a candidate are aired repeatedly hour after hour and there is no doubt that if that happens in Paul's case, his chances to win the noination will be severly damaged.
In this volatile, ever-changing primary season, candidates have gone through media checkpoints that have the potential to tear their presidential prospects apart. The most salient of these downfalls is most likely that of former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain, once deemed the front-runner in the race and now considered old news for late night comedians and political satirists.
In Paul’s direct mail solicitation from 1993, sometimes titled the “Ron Paul Political Report” and “Ron Paul’s Freedom Report,” warnings of a “coming race war in our big cities” and a “federal homosexual cover up” on AIDS are featured. The eight-page 1993 newsletter calls Martin Luther King Jr. a “world class philanderer” who “seduced underage girls and boys” and that the national holiday of his birth was “Hate Whitey Day.” Among one the most alarming lines is one of overt racism, which reads, “We are constantly told that it is evil to be afraid of black men, it is hardly irrational.” All this ends with Paul’s signature at the bottom of the last page.
The newsletter also claims that Paul uncovered a “plot for world government, world money, and world central banking” as well as a conspiracy by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to “suspend the constitution” in the name of a “national emergency.” In regards to Israel, the text reads that the, “Israel lobby plays Congress like a cheap harmonica.”
When asked on the matter by CNN’s Gloria Borger, Paul vehemently denied his writing of the rants and proceeded to walk out of the interview, as Borger did not rest on the controversy. Paul stated, “I did not write them, I did not read them at the time, and I disavow them.” Paul’s Iowa campaign chair, Drew Ivers, claimed that, “It is ridiculous to imply that Ron Paul is a bigot, racist, or unethical.”
This has the potential to bring down Paul’s candidacy for president. While Paul has a solid organization in Iowa and is ahead of Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich there, Romney leads at 35% in New Hampshire and is single digits in South Carolina. Former President George H. W. Bush told the Houston Chronicle after his recent endorsement of Romney, “I want to see Obama beaten; I just do not believe Ron Paul can get the nomination.” If this story damages Paul’s standing in the Iowa race enough, he may see a fast decline in his overall national poll numbers.
While the authorship of these newsletters is no doubt in question, Paul’s signature at the end of these letters presupposes his responsibility for his office literature. What’s more, voters must inquire themselves as to the presidential nature of this. How presidential is it for a legislator in national office to have such statements like those mentioned above to be made in his name? The media will press these issues persistently and they will not stop until some effect is observed either the polls or the ballot box.
Photo Credit: Justin Ruckman