From 1995, thanks to BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kacsynski, Ron Paul promotes the Ron Paul Survival Report. That’s the newsletter he now claims not to have read or even known the contents of for more than 10 years after they were published.
Fast forward a year, and the Dallas Morning News asked Paul about those newsletters. He didn’t disavow them or claim not to have written them. That fits with the above interview from 1995, in which he actively promotes them as espousing his views. Here’s a sample of the views espoused in the newsletter. Here’s another.
But in 2008 as he ran for president, Paul changes his story. At that point, he disavows the newsletters, claiming not only that he didn’t write them but that he rejects their contents. Even though they had his name on them, they were supposedly his connection to his supporters, and he was making money off them. We’re supposed to believe that he didn’t write them or even read them.
Today, he speaks of them the way a celebrity might describe a product that they endorse but don’t really use.
That’s the “uncut” version of the interview posted by the Paul campaign itself. The newsletter questions come toward the end of that interview with CNN’s Gloria Borger.
BORGER: [T]hey were called the Ron Paul Report. Did you read them at all when they were published during those years? Did you ever start to take a look at it and say “You know what, this isn’t what I stand for?”
PAUL: Not all the time.
Aside – so he did read them some of the time.
BORGER: But you did read them?
PAUL: Not all of the time. Well, on occasion, yes.
BORGER: And did you ever object when you read them?
Watch for the dodge.
PAUL: You know, we talked about this twice yesterday on CNN. Why don’t you go back and look at what I said yesterday on CNN and what I’ve said for 20-some years? It’s 22 years ago? I didn’t write them, I disavow them, that’s it.
So…he did read them some of the time, and did not object to them when he read them. But just as in his answer to questions about 9-11, he knows he cannot answer honestly because doing so would destroy him. So he ducks the truth and at 6:57 in that video, the one Paul’s people posted, he says he was only aware of the newsletter’s contents 10 years later. Refer back to the interview at the top of this post, from 1995, and that defense falls apart.
This is rather like Obama’s defense on the Jeremiah Wright problem, isn’t it? Except, that in Ron Paul’s case he’s claiming that he wasn’t the man in the pulpit, and didn’t listen to the words coming off his own pen. So it’s even less plausible than Obama’s take on Rev. Wright.
How is Ron Paul different from any other politician caught in a trap? How is this defense materially different from Anthony Weiner’s “I wuz hacked!” defense? Ron Paul, the only man we’re told can save America, was either lying about the newsletters in 1995-96 when he promoted them, or he’s lying about them now because they’re a problem for his campaign. And if he’s lying about them now, then his best defense is that he incompetently managed a newsletter but now wants to manage the executive branch of the federal government.
The newsletters are now not only a views issue (Is Ron Paul a racist or tolerant of racists?), they’re also a competence issue and a character issue: At some point, either in the past or now, he hasn’t been honest about them.
This is the man who will “restore America?”