Ron Paul denies any knowledge of controversial 'race war' advertisement

Ron Paul's campaign denied Friday that the candidate had any knowledge of a newsletter advertisement carrying his signature that warned of a looming "race war in our big cities" and a "federal-homosexual cover-up" of the AIDS crisis.

"Dr. Paul did not write that mail piece and disavows its content,” spokesman Jesse Benton said in an email to Talking Points Memo.

Benton also emphasized that comments by Paul's Iowa chairman, Drew Ivers, were not the official position of the campaign. Ivers told Reuters that Paul took responsibility for the content being published under his name, even if he did not "embrace" the entirety of the content.

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The advertisement, which took the form of an eight-page letter written in the voice of the Texas congressman, solicited subscribers for a highly controversial newsletter produced under the congressman's name. James Kirchick, a reporter for the New Republic, chronicled the contents of those newsletters during the 2008 campaign cycle.

Among the more incendiary parts of the newsletters was an article that referred to Martin Luther King Jr. as "the world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours" and who "seduced underage girls and boys."

In another article, the author — who is not named — writes that "given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the criminal justice system, I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal."

Kirchick provided Salon with additional materials Friday, including advertisements for a Ron Paul Survival Kit that packaged a collection of gold and silver currency in a World War II ammo holder for use in emergency situations. The kit retailed for $1,675.

Paul also sold collectable gold coins through the newsletter through Ron Paul & Co. Again, the advertisements were written in the first person and in Paul's voice.

Additionally, video surfaced this week of a 1995 interview Paul gave with C-SPAN when he was seeking to return to Congress. In the video, Paul cites the newsletter as an "educational" effort.

"It covered a lot about what was going on in Washington: financial events, especially some of the monetary events, since I had been especially interested in monetary policy, had been on the banking committee and am still very interested in that subject," Paul said in the interview. "This newsletter dealt with it; this has to do with the value of the dollar, the pros and cons of the gold standard, and of course the disadvantages of all the high taxes and spending our government seems to continue to do."

Benton emphasized that Paul's comments in that instance referred only to an investment newsletter he produced simultaneously, and not the more racially charged political rhetoric from the "Ron Paul Survival Report."

On CNN Wednesday, Paul insisted that there was no story.

"I didn't write them, I didn't read them at the time, and I disavow them. That is the answer," Paul said.