Ron Paul’s racist newsletters have officially become a full-blown political controversy. Yesterday, he walked out of an interview with CNN’s Gloria Borger after she pressed him on the issue:
The video speaks for itself; Paul has questions he needs to answer, and the media isn’t going to stop hounding him until he does.
One quick point to add, though. As USA Today points out, Paul’s ever-shifting story on the newsletters changed yet again during the Borger interview yesterday. The issue first came up back in 1996, when Paul was running for Congress. At the time, he defended the racist content published in one of his newsletters from 1992, insisting it was taken out of context. But on CNN yesterday, Paul told Borger that “I never read that stuff, I was probably aware of it 10 years after it was written.” Paul needs to be asked about this discrepancy in the timeline.
Also, today’s USA Today story reports that Paul claimed in 1996 his racist comments about black people were actually taken from a study by the National Center on Incarceration and Alternatives:
In 1996, Paul told the Dallas Morning News that his comment about black men in Washington came while writing about a 1992 study by the National Center on Incarceration and Alternatives, a criminal justice think tank in Virginia.
But back in 1996, when the Austin-American Statesman tried to track down this think tank, it was unable to find it:
Paul’s spokesman, Michael Sullivan, said Paul’s comments about black men in Washington was based on a 1992 study by the National Center on Incarceration and Alternatives, a think tank in the Washington area. A search for the center, however, proved fruitless. No organization with that name is registered in Washington or its suburbs.
A Nexis search for the “National Center on Incarceration and Alternatives” turns up eight articles, all on the Ron Paul newsletter controversy from 1996 and later. Which raises the questions: Did this think tank ever exist? Or was it manufactured by the Paul campaign?