Rep. Ron Paul was aware of the offensive material published in his newsletters, proofreading articles beforehand, former aides told the Washington Post in a report published Friday.
The new allegations could reignite Paul's newsletter controversy, which made headlines in December. The presidential candidate came under fire last month for racial and other incendiary statements mailed out under his name in the late 1980s and 1990s. Paul has repeatedly denied writing the statements, disavowing them and saying he wasn't aware of their existence until 10 years after the fact.
But several of Paul's former associates are disputing his account, telling the Post he was heavily involved with the newsletters:
[P]eople close to Paul’s operations said he was deeply involved in the company that produced the newsletters, Ron Paul & Associates, and closely monitored its operations, signing off on articles and speaking to staff members virtually every day.
“It was his newsletter, and it was under his name, so he always got to see the final product. . . . He would proof it,’’ said Renae Hathway, a former secretary in Paul’s company and a supporter of the Texas congressman.
Paul campaign spokesman Jesse Benton denied the claims, saying any account of the Texas congressman's involvement is untrue. Paul was practicing medicine full time when "the offensive material appeared under his name," Benton told the Post, adding Paul “abhors it, rejects it and has taken responsibility for it as he should have better policed the work being done under his masthead."
The Post also reported, based on an anonymous source, that Paul and his associates decided in the late 1980s to try to increase sales with a "more provocative" strategy, including racial statements.
“It was playing on a growing racial tension, economic tension, fear of government,’’ the person said. “I’m not saying Ron believed this stuff. It was good copy. Ron Paul is a shrewd businessman.’’