GOP candidate Ron Paul is again under fire for incendiary racial statements mailed out under his name in the late 1980s and 1990s, though a past interview appears to be at odds with the Texas congressman's most recent declaration that he knew nothing about the inflammatory comments at the time.
On Wednesday, the Texas congressman walked out of a CNN interview after correspondent Gloria Borger asked him about the content of the newsletters, which were called "Ron Paul's Political Report," "Ron Paul's Freedom Report," the "Ron Paul Survival Report" and the "Ron Paul Investment Letter." When the issue was raised in 2008, Paul said he didn't write everything that appeared in the newsletters, though they bore his name.
Among some of the writings were statements 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 denied Wednesday having written the statements, and said he didn't know about them at the time.
"It's 22 years ago. I didn't write 'em, I disavow 'em, that's it," he told CNN. "I never read that stuff, I was probably aware of it 10 years after it was written."
But those statements appear to be at odds with comments Paul made to the Dallas Morning News in 1996 when he was running for Congress and defended the writings, saying they were taken out of context.
"These aren't my figures," Paul said of the statement that 95 percent of the black males in D.C. are criminals. "That is the assumption you can gather" from a 1992 study from a criminal justice think tank.
He similarly did not refute the "fleet of foot" statement, which also appeared in 1992.
"If you try to catch someone that has stolen a purse from you, there is no chance to catch them," he told the newspaper.
And in a 1995 interview with C-SPAN, unearthed by Andrew Kaczynski, Paul discussed his 10-year hiatus from Congress and what he had been doing in the private sector, among them putting together "a political type of business investment newsletter" -- touting it three years after those statements appeared.
"It covered a lot about what was going on in Washington, and financial events, and especially some of the monetary events," Paul said. "Since I had been especially interested in monetary policy, had been on the banking committee, and still very interested in, in that subject, that this newsletter dealt with it."
Hot Air's Ed Morrissey observed, "For a man who now says that he didn’t pay any attention to the newsletters published under his own name for years, he certainly seems to be pretty conversant with its contents in 1995."
(h/t Hot Air)