Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


'Racist newsletter' timeline: What Ron Paul has said

Ron Paul has had to explain racially charged statements and other controversial comments in newsletters published in his name in the 1980s and 1990s. Here's what he's said over the years.

By Staff writer / December 29, 2011

Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas waits in a hallway before speaking at a campaign event, Thursday, Dec. 29, at the Hotel Pattee in Perry, Iowa.

Charles Dharapak/AP

Enlarge

It's the biggest setback to hit Ron Paul's candidacy for president: publicity about racially charged statements and other controversial comments in newsletters published in Mr. Paul's name in the 1980s and 1990s.

Skip to next paragraph

On Thursday he responded at some length to the concerns during an Iowa radio interview, calling the newsletter statements "terrible" but insisting that he wasn't the one who wrote them. He added that the offensive comments totaled about "about eight or 10 sentences."

Some journalists who have researched the newsletters say it was a lot more than 10 sentences, and that the Texas congressman's response on the issue has changed over the years.

Here, in timeline format, are some prominent Paul statements tied to the issue drawn from transcripts, video clips, and news reports.

1985 to 1994

 The controversial statements that have surfaced stem largely from this period. They were contained in newsletters with titles like Ron Paul’s Freedom Report, the Ron Paul Political Report, the Ron Paul Survival Report, and the Ron Paul Investment Letter, rarely under a byline (although many contained first-person references that readers would assume referred to Paul himself).

Some samples: A December 1989 newsletter quoted by James Kirchick in the New Republic predicted "Racial Violence Will Fill Our Cities" because "mostly black welfare recipients will feel justified in stealing from mostly white 'haves.' "

Another letter said "I think we can assume that 95 percent of the black men in that city [Washington] are semi-criminal or entirely criminal."

An August 1992 edition of the Ron Paul Report labeled former Rep. Barbara Jordan (D) of Texas "the archetypal half-educated victimologist," according to the Houston Chronicle.

1995 to 1996

In a 1995 C-Span interview, Paul talks up his newsletter and espouses some familiarity with its contents. He says it deals a lot "with the value of the dollar, the pros and cons of the gold standard, and of course the disadvantages of all the high taxes and spending our government seems to continue to do."

Paul, having been out of office for a decade, ran for Congress in 1996 and the content of the newsletters were raised by his opponent as a campaign issue. Paul's campaign doesn't deny authorship of the newsletters, but says the Democratic rival is taking the message out of context.

In a Dallas Morning News interview, Paul said the comment about black men in the District of Columbia arose from his study of a report by the National Center on Incarceration and Alternatives, a criminal justice think tank in Virginia.

2001

In a story published by Texas Monthly, Paul tells the magazine that he didn't write "those words." The magazine itself says the newsletter statements are not "remotely like" Paul's public utterances.

"I could never say this in the campaign, but those words weren't really written by me," Paul said, according to Texas Monthly. "It wasn't my language at all. Other people help me with my newsletter as I travel around. I think the one on Barbara Jordan was the saddest thing, because Barbara and I served together and actually she was a delightful lady."

Permissions

Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story