A former congressional aide to Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) has written a piece slamming the presidential hopeful's foreign-policy views, calling them "pure lunacy" in an online post on the conservative website Rightwingnews.com.
The long piece by former aide Eric Dondero alleges awkward treatment by Paul of gays and Jews, but saves its strongest criticisms for his policy positions.
"It’s his foreign policy that’s the problem; not so much some stupid and whacky things on race and gays he may have said or written in the past," he writes.
Dondero writes that Paul does not believe Israel should exist, that the United States should not have gotten involved in World War II, that the government might have known beforehand about the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and that he planned to vote against the war in Afghanistan before changing his mind for political reasons.
Paul's campaign pushed back strongly in an email circulated to reporters. Paul campaign manager Jesse Benton described Dondero as "a disgruntled former staffer who was fired for performance issues. He has zero credibility and should not be taken seriously."
But the piece is getting widely circulated on conservative blogs and websites and could pose a challenge to Paul's campaign as it seeks to win Iowa's Jan. 3 caucuses.
Some of the charges from the website:
• "He wishes the Israeli state did not exist at all. He expressed this to me numerous times in our private conversations. His view is that Israel is more trouble than it is worth, specifically to the American taxpayer. He sides with the Palestinians, and supports their calls for the abolishment of the Jewish state, and the return of Israel, all of it, to the Arabs."
• "Is Ron Paul a homo-phobe [sic]? Well, yes and no. He is not all bigoted towards homosexuals. He supports their rights to do whatever they please in their private lives. He is however, personally uncomfortable around homosexuals, no different from a lot of older folks of his era."
• "He strenuously does not believe the United States had any business getting involved in fighting Hitler in WWII. He expressed to me countless times, that 'saving the Jews,' was absolutely none of our business. When pressed, he often times [sic] brings up conspiracy theories like FDR knew about the attacks of Pearl Harbor weeks before hand [sic], or that WWII was just 'blowback,' for Woodrow Wilson’s foreign policy errors, and such."
• "Ron Paul was opposed to the War in Afghanistan, and to any military reaction to the attacks of 9/11. He did not want to vote for the resolution. He immediately stated to us staffers, me in particular, that Bush/Cheney were going to use the attacks as a precursor for 'invading' Iraq. He engaged in conspiracy theories including perhaps the attacks were coordinated with the CIA, and that the Bush administration might have known about the attacks ahead of time. He expressed no sympathies whatsoever for those who died on 9/11, and pretty much forbade us staffers from engaging in any sort of memorial expressions, or openly asserting pro-military statements in support of the Bush administration."