Texas Congressman Ron Paul has been under attack for what many consider “racist” comments that were included in several newsletters in the 1980s and 90s.
“There were sentences that were put in, I think it was a total of eight or 10 sentences and it was bad stuff – it, it wasn’t a reflection of my views at all,” Paul said in response to a caller on Jan Mickelson’s WHO Newsradio 1040 show on Thursday in Iowa. “I think it was terrible. It was tragic and I had some responsibility because the [letter went out under my name].”
It comes as no surprise that Paul’s GOP opponents have attempted to take advantage of the situation as Paul has been climbing in the latest Iowa polls. He and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are running neck-in-neck according to a Rasmussen Poll released Thursday, where Paul is at 22 percent and Romney at 23 percent.
This is not the first time the content of the newsletters has been a source of consternation for Paul. One of the newsletters referred to Martin Luther King, Jr., as “the world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours” and who “seduced underage girls and boys.”
In 2008, Paul denied having any knowledge of the newsletter’s controversial comments, saying that he did not know who wrote the comments but that they did not represent his personal views.
On Thursday, Paul clarified he was not the editor but rather the publisher of the newsletters.
“If you think about publishers of newspapers every once and a while they get some pretty chunky stuff in their newspapers and they have to say ‘this is not the sentiment and position of that newspaper’ and this is certainly the case…this is probably 10 sentences out of 10,000 pages for all I know,” Paul explained.
Paul describes the resurfacing of the issue as a “desperation” attempt by his opponents to discredit him as his poll numbers have climbed prior to the nation’s first caucus on Jan. 3.
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who has all but ignored Iowa in hopes of gaining traction in New Hampshire, released a video on Thursday attacking Paul and saying that the Texas Congressman is “unelectable.”
“Can New Hampshire voters really trust Ron Paul?” the ad reads.
“You’ve got to own up to that history, and ultimately he’s going to have to explain that to the American people if he wants to get enough support to actually be a legitimate player,” Huntsman said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Paul has decided to remain in Texas for the New Year holiday and will be returning to Iowa in time for next Tuesday’s caucuses.