Having already disavowed racist rhetoric in newsletters sent out under his name, Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul is now having to explain a warning about a “federal-homosexual cover-up on AIDS.”
The statement came in a direct-mail advertisement for Paul’s political and investment newsletters in the 1990s, Reuters reports. The ad, in the form of a letter signed by Paul, also predicted that a “race war” would break out in U.S. cities and that the federal government planned to redesign currency so it could be used to track Americans’ activities.
Paul has already said he did not write or endorse the racist passages in his newsletters and had no knowledge of them, and a spokesman for his campaign today told Talking Points Memo that the candidate “did not write that mail piece and disavows its content.” Paul also told reporters this week that various statements in the newsletters are at odds with his political positions, such as supporting open service by gay people in the military.
Journalist James Kirchick (an occasional Advocate contributor) provided Reuters with the direct-mail ad, which he found in an archive of political literature. Paul, a Texas congressman with libertarian leanings who opposed the war in Iraq, previously sought the GOP presidential nomination in 2008. That year Kirchick wrote a story for The New Republic saying the newsletters exhibited “deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays” and “suggest that Ron Paul is not the plain-speaking antiwar activist his supporters believe they are backing — but rather a member in good standing of some of the oldest and ugliest traditions in American politics.” The New Republic’s website has Kirchick’s article here and a selection of the newsletters’ “most incendiary” statements here.