As more evidence surfaces that Ron Paul knew about the racist and homophobic messages of the 1980s and 90s newsletters he published, a former senior aide to the congressman has come forward with a lengthy statement attempting to absolve Paul of racism while detailing shocking incidents involving Paul and gay supporters.
Eric Dondero writes on Right Wing News that his former boss "is not all bigoted towards homosexuals" and supports their rights to do whatever they want in private. He is, however, "personally uncomfortable around homosexuals," as the following story shows:
In 1988, Ron had a hardcore Libertarian supporter, Jim Peron, Owner of Laissez Faire Books in San Francisco. Jim set up a magnificent 3-day campaign swing for us in the SF Bay Area. Jim was what you would call very openly Gay. But Ron thought the world of him. For 3 days we had a great time trouncing from one campaign event to another with Jim's Gay lover. The atmosphere was simply jovial between the four of us. (As an aside we also met former Cong. Pete McCloskey during this campaign trip.) We used Jim's home/office as a "base." Ron pulled me aside the first time we went there, and specifically instructed me to find an excuse to excuse him to a local fast food restaurant so that he could use the bathroom. He told me very clearly, that although he liked Jim, he did not wish to use his bathroom facilities. I chided him a bit, but he sternly reacted, as he often did to me, Eric, just do what I say. Perhaps "sternly" is an understatement. Ron looked at me directly, and with a very angry look in his eye, and shouted under his breath: "Just do what I say NOW."
Dondero goes on to relay another display of Paul's "discomfort" with gays, years later at a Surfside Beach party:
"Bobby," a well-known and rather flamboyant and well-liked gay man in Freeport came to the BBQ. Let me stress Ron likes Bobby personally, and Bobby was a hardcore campaign supporter. But after his speech, at the Surfside pavilion Bobby came up to Ron with his hand extended, and according to my fellow staffer, Ron literally swatted his hand away.
According to Dondero, Paul is not racist (as evidenced by his frequent hiring of blacks for office staff), but again there are significant caveats.
He is what I would describe as "out of touch," with both Hispanic and Black culture. Ron is far from being the hippest guy around. He is completely clueless when it comes to Hispanic and Black culture, particularly Mexican-American culture. And he is most certainly intolerant of Spanish and those who speak strictly Spanish in his presence, (as are a number of Americans, nothing out of the ordinary here.)
Dondero claims that while Paul is not an anti-Semite, he is "most certainly Anti-Israel" and wishes the Israeli state did not exist. But Paul has "no problem with" American Jews.
The controversial newsletters, which are filled with slurs against gays and African-Americans, have recently made their way back into the news cycle to haunt Paul's presidential campaign. Paul has denied writing them, but as more old videos turn up showing Paul promoting and even taking credit for the newsletters, it will be hard for him to continue to deny involvement.
Read Dondero's full statement here.