Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul on Friday sharply denied a Washington Post article that said he wrote and signed off on racially charged newsletters.
Ron Paul told CNN's "John King that he did not write, review, or endorse the racially caustic newsletters as claimed in Friday's Washington Post.
“It was his newsletter, and it was under his name, so he always got to see the final product,” Renae Hathway, a former secretary in Paul’s company and a supporter of the Texas congressman, told the Post. “He would proof it.”
But Paul said his former secretary was wrong.
"She's made that story up," Paul said.
The newsletters, from the 1990s, resurrected as his presidential campaign gained momentum, the Post reported. The Texas congressman has denied writing passages such as "we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city (the District of Columbia) are semi-criminal or entirely criminal," Paul wrote as cited by the Houston Chronicle.
And In 1996, Paul didn't deny writing the newsletters, he clarified them. He told the Chronicle that his commentaries such as one on teen crime that —13 year old black males should be tried in court as an adult because they "are as big, strong, tough, scary and culpable as any adult"— were in the context of “current events and statistical reports of the time.”
Ron Paul speaking to supporters at a townhall at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire.
King went on to ask Paul about Ed Crane, the longtime president of the libertarian Cato Institute, who told the Post that he and Paul intentionally used racially tinged language toward the extreme to attract more subscribers.
Effectively caught off guard, Paul turned grim. “Well,” he stalled, “I don't know what he's talking about. I don't recall that conversation.”
“If you want me to talk about race and that's what you are trying to imply from these questions some type of a negative attitude about me if you want to talk about race go look at my record.” Paul responded his voice tinged with anger.
And, in case anyone wanted to know what parts of his record to pay attention to, Paul was ready with an answer, “look at my answer to Stephanopoulos in the debates and you might get something worth reporting than trying to demagogue this issue.”
During the New Hampshire debate, ABC News commentator George Stephanopoulos asked Paul to explain his controversial newsletters published under his name, which included offensive statements and stereotypes about African Americans, the Huffington Post reported.
Paul responded by pointing out that, first of all, “one of my heroes is Martin Luther King” and, he added "Rosa Parks".
"I'm the only one up here and the only one in the Democratic Party that understands true racism in this country," he said.