WASHINGTON (JTA) — A 1993 subscription letter appearing above Ron Paul’s signature said the "Israeli lobby plays Congress like a cheap harmonica," warned of a "race war" and said there was a gay-led cover up of AIDS.
The letter appealed for subscriptions to Paul’s newsletter at the time, which included similar incendiary language.
Paul (R-Texas), a member of the U.S. House of Representatives now leading in some polls of likely Iowa caucus-goers, has repeatedly disavowed the language in his old newsletters, which took aim at blacks, gays and Israel. He has said that he not write his newsletters and that he did not always read them.
The subscriptions solicitation letter, obtained by Reuters on Thursday from Jamie Kirchick, an investigative journalist who in 2008 reported on the newsletters’ inflammatory content, ties the provocative language more closely to Paul than did the newsletter.
It is written in the first person, it appears above his signature, and in making some of the accusations, the appeal references what it purports to be Paul’s personal experiences.
The letter suggests, for instance, that new $100 bills distributed by the Treasury and ostensibly aimed at tracking drug money were instead aimed at keeping track of all citizens.
"I held the ugly new bills in my hands," the letter says. "I can tell you — they made my skin crawl!"
The letter also says that "my training as a physician" — Paul is an obstetrician — "helps me see through" what he calls the "federal-homosexual cover-up on AIDS."
The letter warns of a "coming race war in our big cities" and says Paul "laid bare" what it calls "the Israeli lobby, which plays Congress like a cheap harmonica."
A spokesman for Paul told Talking Points Memo that the candidate disavows the letter and did not write it.
Paul served in Congress from 1975 until 1988, when he ran for president on the Libertarian ticket.
He returned to his practice in 1989, but made money off the "Ron Paul Investment Letter," which offered financial advice as well as political analysis; the 1993 letter pitches a subscription at what it says is the discounted rate of $99 a year.
Paul returned to Congress in 1997 as a Republican and previously ran for the party’s presidential nomination in 2008.