In an apology for racist newsletters that went out under his name twenty years ago, GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul's campaign issued a statement on Friday acknowledging that Paul had been guilty of a "lack of oversight" and should have paid more attention to the "ghost writers" who were responsible for the distasteful articles.
According to Reuters, in addition to the newsletter, whose contents have been known and discussed for years, a direct-mail ad for the newsletter has now surfaced that warns about a "coming race war" and a "federal-homosexual cover-up" to play down the impact of AIDS. The ad was sent out over Paul's signature in 1993, at a time when he was not a member of Congress..
"Dr. Paul did not write that solicitation," Paul spokesman Jesse Benton wrote in an email on Friday. "It does not reflect his thoughts and is out of step with the message he has espoused for 40 years."
Paul supporters have slammed the publicity being given to the newsletters and the ad as an attempt to derail his campaign. For outside observers, however, the campaign's statements appeared to raise as many questions as they answered.
Scholars contacted by Reuters for comment pointed out that even though Paul's own statements over the years have shown a continuing support for minority rights, his apparent lack of interest in keeping track of what was being published under his name raises questions about his "managerial competence."
Politics professor Larry Sabato noted, "Ron Paul would have us believe that this newsletter went out under his name and a direct-mail solicitation for it went out under his signature, yet he knew nothing about it. That is not credible. Or is it that Paul can't control his own staff? ... At the very least, more explanation is needed."
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