Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.”     Plato

January 10, 2008

Ron Paul Talks To Wolf Blitzer About The Newsletter Story

by Doug Mataconis

Ron Paul appeared on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer today to talk about the controversy that has erupted over the last several days regarding newsletters published under his name in the late 1980s and early 1990s which contained, to put it mildly, some incredibly racist statements.

Here’s Part One:

And Here’s Part Two:

I was able to watch this live and, quite honestly, Paul didn’t seem like himself to me. It was a combination of, for lack of a better word, anger and being caught off guard. To his credit, he did repudiate the filth that was published under his name, but his continuing refusal to name the person who did write it, or at least the editor, is just confusing.

Also, I don’t think he helped himself with anyone but the true believers when he kept mentioning “the blacks” every few minutes, the way he kept diverting Blitzer’s questions with talk about the War on Drugs and Iraq, and his insistence toward the end of the interview that this was part of some conspiracy against him.

Watch for yourself and make up your own mind, but there are still unanswered questions here and he owes it to his supporters to answer them.

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27 Comments

  1. He doesn’t owe it to his supporters to answer, his supporters owe it to him to DROP IT! We know it’s not his doing and exactly why it’s been brought up and he explained it just fine. What he DOES owe is official challenging of the voting in NH, given the Sutton county report. Why isn’t Wolf asking about that? Why aren’t YOU asking about that?

    Comment by Tom Brown — January 10, 2008 @ 4:20 pm
  2. Ron Paul speaks truth. Too bad you are to blind to realize this.

    Next you’ll be saying he married his first cousin. Oh wait, thats Rudy Giuliani.

    Comment by eric — January 10, 2008 @ 4:24 pm
  3. Excuse me, I don’t see how the “War on Iraq” and the “War on Drugs” were “diversions”. It’s no mystery that the war in Iraq is fought by the young, the poor and minorities – not the priviliged white children of the elites who start the wars. It’s also no mystery that minorities bear the brunt of the “War on Drugs”. These are far from being “diversions” as you assert. Ron Paul is making the point that his character, actions and public record prove that he does not share these racist views.

    BTW – When did using the term “blacks” become PC? We still refer to anglos as “whites” and I don’t feel discriminated against as a result.

    Comment by DefendTheConstitution — January 10, 2008 @ 4:25 pm
  4. I thought this was a fantastic interview by Ron Paul. No, he did not seem ‘caught off guard’ at all. How could he be caught off guard? This is all very old news that was re-publicized recently by the socialist scum at new republic to try and hurt his chances in NH. I think he put this to rest once and for all. And no, he does not owe me or any other supporters one thing except to campaign as hard as he can. The real story is the voter fraud in NH. Talk about that and not this feeble attempt to smear his campaign.

    Comment by Will — January 10, 2008 @ 4:29 pm
  5. I agree with DefendTheConstitution. How many rich, white kids do you know in Iraq? Especially those of Senators and Congressmen! The “War on Iraq” does have to do with race to a certain degree.

    And yes, what’s bad about saying “blacks” or “whites” or whatever in a intellectual conversation? The federal government wants to know that information every 10 years on the census! Now THAT sounds like discrimination to me!

    Comment by Andy — January 10, 2008 @ 4:29 pm
  6. How can one not think of conspiracy theories having just observed an improbably simultaneous media attack on Ron Paul the day of the New Hampshire primary? A remarkably successful attack that made him plunge from 14% in the polls to an 8% actual vote? After weeks where we heard little about Paul from the mass media and beltway “libertarian” bloggers? TNR from the left, Fox News and talk radio from the right, and piling on from beltway “libertarians” who made a point of loudly repeating the TNR smears and dumping Ron Paul on the day of the primary. Your eyes and ears did not deceive you, all this happened. It is not the result of a criminal conspiracy, but if one uses “conspiracy” as a metaphor for social networks of vast complexity, there is a strong sense in which conspiracy theories accurately, if metaphorically, explain what happened.

    The reality behind the conspiratorial metaphor is the social networking between denizens of the Beltway, who sport a wide variety of political labels but are, relative to the rest of the country, a monoculture. I lived there. I went to these parties. These denizens range from the journalists who report the mass media news to various think tank and university scholars at the Cato Institute, George Mason University, and so on. They study Ayn Rand, then marry Andrea Mitchell and testify against tax cuts. Vast amounts of federal money, that stuff that is taken out of your paycheck with such automatic ease, flow into the Beltway area. Directly and indirectly, almost every person who lives in or near the Beltway depends on the very income tax that Ron Paul declared he would abolish — with no replacement!

    Many of these paycheck vampires call themselves “libertarians” and inspire us with their libertarian rhetoric to support them with our attention, our blog hits, and our tuition money as well as the tax money that already funds them or their friends. But at the first sign of political incorrectness, all these below-the-Beltway “libertarians” have dumped Ron Paul like yesterday’s garbage. Now they can rest easy that they will still be invited to the parties thrown by their lobbyist and government employee and contractor friends, who for a second or two got worried by all those Google searches that Ron Paul might have some influence, resulting in some of them losing their jobs (end the income tax with no replacement?! The guy is obvioiusly a kook, and we don’t invite the supporters of kooks to our parties!). Now everybody around the Beltway can go back to partying at the taxpayer’s expense. All the money will keep flowing in, hooray!

    The lesson millions of young libertarians have now learned from our mass media, including our beltway “libertarians”? Libertarian electioneering is futile. Voting is futile. Democracy is futile. It’s hip to call yourself “libertarian”, but anybody who actually wants liberty is a kook, as can be proven by their association with kooks. Beltway wonks posing as “libertarians” are happy to write things to inflame your hopes for liberty that they don’t really mean. Then they make sure that we elect the politicians their friends want — the ones that will enslave your future to pay for full social security for Baby Boomers. The ones that will send you off to foreign lands to kill and die. Our Beltway “libertarians” are happy to sell a whole new generation of libertarians down the tubes in order to keep their Beltway friends happy.

    Comment by formerbeltwaywonk — January 10, 2008 @ 4:32 pm
  7. Paul was great! I love that man!

    You on the other hand, disgrace Jefferson by displaying his image. Please take that down.

    And please stop showing up in the “News” results.

    Comment by Marta — January 10, 2008 @ 4:35 pm
  8. If there are to be anymore answers it will come from other people.

    Comment by uhm — January 10, 2008 @ 4:39 pm
  9. He has answered all the questions that pertain to him. Why do you insist on there being a witch-hunt to determine who actually wrote these things? Who cares? They are stupid comments and Ron Paul doesn’t approve of them, he actually is quite the opposite. Ron Paul did all he could do. Go vote for someone who will keep getting our soldiers and innocent civilians killed in countries we attack (all under the name of Patriotism, Honor and Democracy) or vote for Ron Paul. Ron Paul is the only person making sense, while everyone else is drinking the Kool-Aid poured by all the other candidates.

    Comment by Mike Klamecki — January 10, 2008 @ 4:44 pm
  10. Who cares, I mean REALLY, who cares? Many poor people are minorities and you know what they think? When they’re filling your car with $3 gas and buying some $2.65 a dozen eggs, they’ll remember who is running on stopping deficit spending. The war for oil is what caused prices for anything that eats grain to skyrocket. When THOSE prices rise, the fresh fruit seller raises his prices again, now you have some nice $5 a pound grapes in the market. Laugh all you want, it’s THEIR money being spent. THEY’RE the ones paying $250 a week for groceries. THEY’RE the ones with a husband or wife in Iraq. THEY’RE the ones with family or friends in prison, life ruined from a criminal record. Still think Ron Paul sounds like a bad idea? He’s the ONLY candidate, Republican or Democrat that is running on reducing your cost of living. Maybe you have plenty money. Us, We’re not so rich. And another thing, don’t think I’ve never lent my car to a ‘friend’ that wrecked it and left me holding the bill – the excuse doesn’t matter at all.

    Comment by Louis Nardozi — January 10, 2008 @ 4:48 pm
  11. Thank you to Dr. Paul for repudiating the filth in the newsletters, and for reiterating your position on racism. The war on drugs and the war in Iraq are strong examples. I love how assertive you are becoming.

    formerbeltwaywonk, that was a powerful post. Having seen the way Cato Institute has responded to Dr. Paul’s campaign, I believe you 100%. Thank you for that.

    God bless.

    Comment by 1440 minutes — January 10, 2008 @ 5:01 pm
  12. Well, I guess people can see the same things and have different reactions.

    I thought did just fine. He explained why he doesn’t make a deal about and then said he understood why it was important to explain again and he did it.

    He then went further and put his own record and his own ideas about race up for everyone to see and examine against the backdrop of these charges by showing how unracist he is and how unracist libertarianism is and how racist others are indirectly by NOT supporting policies that he does that affect minorities far more than whites.

    He did just fine.

    Comment by John V — January 10, 2008 @ 5:04 pm
  13. You know, an existing system (status quo) will always violently oppose any attempt to change it.

    This is evidence that Ron Paul is scaring those that have a stake in the current system.

    Those that care to do the research will see right through this for the smear it is. Tone, timing and topic…think about it.

    Kindly do your (the posters) homework before editorializing on unfounded speculation and fabrications. Your point on “unanswered questions” is a transparent attempt to give the smear legs to prolong it. Ron Paul was direct, succinct honest and articulate in this interview as always.

    Oh yes, and respectfully, your opinion is not “news”.

    Thank you for posting the video clips. :-)

    Comment by jon — January 10, 2008 @ 5:06 pm
  14. Two things:

    1. Paul is discussing the cause of problems rather than the symptoms. This is a different concept from the status quo, so many people don’t understand. For more information: http://yarpb.wordpress.com/2008/01/07/symptom-vs-problems/

    2. More importantly, you should read this if you really think Ron Paul is a racist: http://yarpb.wordpress.com/2008/01/11/collectivism-racism-and-ron-paul/

    Comment by yarpb — January 10, 2008 @ 5:16 pm
  15. A quote with regards to Ron Paul’s message of freedom, individual liberty and US foreign policy is appropriate here:

    All truth passes through three stages.

    FIRST, it is ridiculed.

    SECOND, it is violently opposed.
    THIRD, it is accepted as being self-evident.

    - – Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860)

    I think we’re in Stage II now…

    Comment by Doug — January 10, 2008 @ 5:24 pm
  16. The Liberty Papers, ey?

    You haven’t the slightest idea of what liberty is about, otherwise you would have not held such disdain towards Dr Paul.

    He owes nothing to his supporters. And his supporters understand the clear relationship between racial discrimination and the wars on drugs, terror and what-not. You, on the other hand, did not get the link, Mr Liberty Man.

    Comment by Kev — January 10, 2008 @ 5:31 pm
  17. Ron Paul is the chosen one, weather you like it or not. He is seriously the next great president, and the first great american leader since the JFK. I personally believe Ron Paul is destened to lead us into the prophetic age of peace and prosperity known as the golden age of the bible. But in order to get to this golden age of man, we must first denounce this Neo Conservative adjenda that is being perpetrated by the Council on Forign Relations. The CFR wants NAU to happen by 2010 eliminating the USA for good. We can stop them if we all, as a nation, unite behind Ron Paul. No matter how much voter fraud they try and get away with, we should still win the election if we just all vote for Ron Paul. America, and Your Civil liberties will forever be indebted to this vote, this year, this 2008.

    Peace, Love and Godbless us all
    but most of all, VOTE FOR RON PAUL!!

    Comment by Jared in Michigan — January 10, 2008 @ 5:34 pm
  18. Yarpb,

    Good articles. I would just say that your diagnosis of the health care problem is lacking.

    I’m not so sure a weak dollar is totally to blame. I think health care costs have been rising drastically because the price mechanism is broken and not doing its proper role in the health care market.

    A simple example is that elective medical procedures that are not covered by insurance have seen sharp drops in cost to the consumer while standard, insured (read: “free”) procedures do not.

    Cripes, imagine what an oil change, a diagnostic or tune up would cost for your car if it was forced to be covered by auto insurance.

    Comment by John V — January 10, 2008 @ 5:40 pm
  19. I thought Ron did fine. But he does look tired. He’s 72, and on his feet 14 hours a day. He sure didn’t need this crap too. I’m still voting for him!

    Comment by Jim — January 10, 2008 @ 5:45 pm
  20. John V,

    You’re probably right. I was trying to keep things simple, but health care pricing is such a complicated topic, I don’t know how to explain it simply. Health care should probably a topic all in of itself. I should probably remove it from that entry.

    Comment by yarpb — January 10, 2008 @ 5:52 pm
  21. Agreed. Paul was off his game, though he has never been a terrific speaker. I want to believe him, but how negligent to not do anything about this newsletter that he did occasionally read and put out by Ron Paul and Associates! Odd.

    Comment by jisc — January 10, 2008 @ 5:57 pm
  22. TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD.

    Excellent interview from Paul.

    Bill Cosby can say the same thing that Ron Paul does and because he is black it is not racism?? How racist is that? http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4628960

    Doug you have been excused of many things in your so-called pseudo-support of Paul, your commentary to this clip confirms ALL OF THOSE SUSPICIONS. The war on drugs is a war on black America and it does disproportionately convict and incarnate Black America. This is not racist… it is a fact.

    I’m thinking that Doug Mataconis may be your “Pen name”, who are you really and what is your agenda??? You can question why Paul allowed this to take place. I question why you are now making a big deal of it?? This is such old news and you, Doug, should have been aware of this months if not years ago…

    Comment by Amy — January 10, 2008 @ 6:32 pm
  23. Let The Message OF Ron Paul Be Heard Far And Wide. The Re-Education Of America Must Proceed If We Are To Survive As A Nation. The Constitution Is Not Out Dated.

    Racism is not displayed by Ron Paul’s Actions or Deeds. It is incongruent with his character.

    I Vote For Virtue; I Vote For Ron Paul !!!

    Comment by Brad — January 10, 2008 @ 6:48 pm
  24. I’m very disappointed in Paul. People who are just learning about him for the first time now get to have this hanging off of him like a dead fish. His explanations don’t make any sense, denying that he cares to look into it was a very poor answer and talking about how this is a conspiracy to take black voters away from him is ludicrous (seriously, i’d be more worried about your white libertarians, those are you only supporters so far and the ones most offended by this)

    Comment by Greg — January 10, 2008 @ 6:55 pm
  25. Sorry to the guy who wrote this, but you are a stupid moron. The word on the street is that this interview just singlehandedly ressurected his campaign. Quite frankly, I was pretty down and dissapointed about the one two punch he had recently taken, but after this I was speechless. I have never heard someone so passionately explain how civil libertarianism cannot contain a social adgenda and ultimately leads to equal justice. This guy has done more to spread the libertarian concept in 6 months than the Libertarian Party itself has in 35 years.

    Comment by Billy — January 10, 2008 @ 6:59 pm
  26. This election is a rare opportunity to reverse this deeply disturbing trend, this death march to collectivist oppression. One man in the field of pesidential candidates wants you to be treated as an individual, not a member of a special intrest group. He doesn’t even think in terms of ethnicities or voting blocks.

    Comment by Dave — January 10, 2008 @ 8:00 pm
  27. Ron Paul’s interest in ending the war has nothing to do with blacks. He wants to end it, because he believes it helps Israel, which is another group he is very adamant racial comments towards.

    The idea and notion that Ron Paul and/or his supporters would paint Ron Paul wanting to end the war because he’s concerned about blacks is preposterous and a scapegoat. He could care less. His only concern is that it will help Israel (one less violent muslim neighbor).

    Comment by Hugh G. Knutts — January 11, 2008 @ 1:58 pm

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