Following Ron Paul's stand-off during a CNN interview yesterday and a cutting column about the Texas Congressman in the Wall Street Journal Thursday, the Republican candidate for president was the topic of conversation with the panel on MSNBC's Morning Joe Thursday. Despite frequently referring to libertarian and small government conservatives as "my crowd," host Joe Scarborough had some brazen words for the followers of the outspoken libertarian Ron Paul:
"There is a tension that we need to explain here among Ron Paul supporters. There are some who will embrace his domestic agenda, embrace the idea of a smaller government. Even if they don't agree with everything...libertarians who will roll their eyes, be concerned like Dorothy about foreign policy, but also, will go away from an event saying there is always a strain of anti-Semitism -- I've never heard the racism part, but a strain of anti-Semitism there."
The discussion began in regards to the news about the much talked about writings and newsletters associated with Rep. Paul, where statements 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.
After literally just sitting there and not saying a word for the first eight and a half minutes of the Ron Paul discussion, Scarborough turned to MSNBC host Rev. Al Sharpton following the anti-Semitism comment. Some may find this odd considering Sharpton's history of incendiary remarks against Jewish-Americans.
Rev. Al Sharpton's remarks about Paul followers:
“Well, I think when you read the statements in his name, the problem is that you’re not dealing with someone that has dealt with in a forthright manner what happened. You can say something and later say, ‘I shouldn’t have said it, I apologize.’ You can say something and say I was a misunderstood. All of us have gone through that, But you can’t say something and then turn around and act as though you didn’t know it was said; you don’t know you benefited from it after, as John [Heilemann] said, you said, ‘Yes, I wrote some of it.' It’s ambiguous what [Paul] wrote, and [he doesn't] clarify that and [he gets] angry when people ask about it. That’s the danger zone that he’s in.”
Sharpton has been accused of having a revisionist history of the anti-Semitic Crown Heights riots which some charge him with inciting. Over 100 were injured in the riots, and a mob hunted down and slain an innocent rabbinical student. Before the death, Sharpton led protests through the Jewish section of Crown Heights and made comments including: "If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house,"
In 1995 he led the boycott of a Jewish-owned clothing store in Harlem, where he told protesters:
"I want to make it clear to the radio audience and to you here that we will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business on 125th Street."
Soon after a gunman burst into the store shooting, then setting the building on fire, destroying Freddie's Fashion Mart and killing seven.