Ron Paul walks out of interview over questions about racially charged newsletters
In an interview with CNN reporter Gloria Borger, Paul unplugged his microphone after getting agitated when pressed to discuss the controversial statements.
The statements were written in newsletters that were called Ron Paul's Political Report, Ron Paul's Freedom Report and the Ron Paul Survival Report, according to CNN. Among the offensive statements, the newsletters said, "We are constantly told that it is evil to be afraid of black men, it is hardly irrational," and, referring to the 1992 Los Angeles riots, "Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks."
Borger asked Paul to respond to a report that he had made nearly $1 million from the newsletters in 1993.
Paul was flustered. "I'd like to see that money," he said.
He denied writing the statements or being aware of them at the time they were mailed out.
"I never read that stuff," he said. "I was probably aware of it 10 years after it was written."
In 1996, the Dallas Morning News asked Paul about similar writings, including newsletters that said, "Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the criminal justice system, I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal," and "If you've ever been robbed by a black teenaged male, you know how unbelievably fleet of foot they can be."
Paul said the first statement was taken out of context; it was part of a column that cited statistics from a study by a criminal justice think tank.
Of the second statement, he said: "If you try to catch someone that has stolen a purse from you, there is no chance to catch them."
Paul later distanced himself from the statements in the newsletters, saying he did not write them, but that he was morally responsible since they carried his name.
So when the topic came up in the CNN interview, an unusually grumpy Paul took to scolding the reporter for bringing it up.
"I never read that stuff," he said. "I was probably aware of it 10 years after it was written. And it's been going on 20 years that people have pestered me about this. And CNN does it every single time. So when are you going to wear yourself out?"
Borger pressed on: "Is it a legitimate question to ask, that something went out under your name?"
That's when Paul got defiant. "And when you get the answer, it's legitimate that you sort of take the answers I give," he said. "You know what the answer is? I didn't write them, I didn't read them at the time, and I disavow them. That is the answer."
Borger defended asking about statements that "are pretty incendiary."
"Because of people like you," Paul said, later adding a "goodbye" as he disconnected his microphone.
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