Tales from the Trail

New Hampshire paper, Huntsman launch fresh attacks on Ron Paul

New Hampshire’s largest newspaper, the Union Leader, suspended its attacks on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on Thursday to turn its editorial fire on Texas Rep. Ron Paul.  The newspaper, which helped fuel Newt Gingrich’s rise in the polls in late November after it endorsed the former House speaker, published a front page editorial, titled “Ron Paul is truly dangerous,” criticizing Paul’s dovish views on Iran and the treatment of captured terror suspects. Paul’s views, in the words of publisher Joe McQuaid, are “warped” and “nuts.”

McQuaid writes:

Never mind Paul being the favored candidate of the lunatic fringe (see white supremacists, anti-Semites, truthers, etc.). Never mind his refusal to disavow a third-party run (which would only help President Obama’s reelection). His defenders say they admire Ron Paul’s “consistency.” It is true, Paul has been consistently spouting this nonsense. It is about time New Hampshire voters showed him the door.

Meanwhile, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who has staked his entire campaign on the Granite State but has seen Paul surge ahead of him in polls there, is out with a hard-hitting new ad highlighting some loony statements contained in Paul’s newsletters. Among them: a claim that Martin Luther King was a “pro-communist philanderer,” another claim suggesting “90 if not 95 percent of black males in [Washington, D.C.] are semi-criminal if not entirely criminal” and the suggestion of a “federal-homosexual cover-up of AIDS.” Paul has said he wasn’t the author of the controversial statements, which appeared in letters with names like  Ron Paul’s Freedom Report, the Ron Paul Survival Report and the Ron Paul Investment Letter.

Watch Jon Huntsman’s new anti-Paul ad, “Unelectable”:

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Credit: Jon2012HQ/YouTube

Old film shows Paul warning of UN plot

Conspiracy theories are nothing new to Ron Paul. Witness his lengthy appearance in this 1998 John Birch Society documentary, in which he predicts that the United Nations “would confiscate our guns’ and the rest of Americans’ private property. The United States, he says in the video, “will become nothing more than a pawn of the United Nations.”

“The election process will become the task of world government monitors,” the documentary’s narrator says at the 2:16 mark. “The U.S. Congress, president, judicial system and state and local government shall exist only as a facade to assure American citizens that they still have a voice in government.”

The documentary goes on to suggest the UN could disband and even burn down U.S. churches that don’t submit to its control, and throw their ministers in jail (3:15). Paul chimes in: “If the United Nations has their way, there will be curtailment of our right to practice religion,” he is shown saying (4:12).

Ron Paul attacks Gingrich and Romney in new ad

Republican Ron Paul has unveiled a hard-hitting new attack ad in Iowa and New Hampshire. As violins play anxiously in the background and washed-out images of the Capitol and other Washington landmarks flash across the screen, a voice-over warns that the “Washington machine” is “strangling” the American economy.

The implication: Washington is a conspiracy of insider politicians — politicians like Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney — working against the people.

“Serial hypocrites and flip-floppers can’t clean up the mess,” the narrator says ominously, as images of Gingrich and Romney flash on the screen. “Ron Paul,” the voice says in closing, is “the one we’ve been looking for.”

Ron Paul quits CNN interview after questions about racist newsletters

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul abruptly ended an interview with CNN’s Gloria Borger yesterday after she asked him about racist newsletters published under his name in the 1980s and 1990s.

When Borger questioned Paul about profit he reportedly made from the newsletters, some of which contained prejudiced statements about African Americans and conspiracy theories about AIDS, Paul protested that he “never read that stuff.”

“I was probably aware of it ten years after it was written,” he said. “It’s been going on 20 years that people have pestered me about this and CNN does it every single time. So when are you going to wear yourself out?”

Battered by negative ads, Gingrich calls for Republican truce


A still from “Selling Access,” a recent ad released by the Ron Paul campaign.

Newt Gingrich is waving a white flag in the ad wars. As the most recent Republican frontrunner, he’s become the target of attacks from Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and the the pro-Romney group Restore Our Future.

Many of the attacks have focused on Gingrich’s consulting work for Freddie Mac in the run up to the financial crisis and the collapse of the housing market. Today his campaign announced a petition urging Republicans to stop attacking each other–and presumably to stop bringing up his work for Freddie.

from Political Theater:

Ron Paul says Michele Bachmann “hates Muslims”

Ron Paul was on The Tonight Show last night, where Jay Leno asked him to say a little something about the other Republican candidates for president. Mitt Romney, according to Paul, is "a nice guy." Newt Gingrich should "run for Speaker of the House again," and Jon Huntsman is "a good diplomat" and " a thoughtful person."

And Michele Bachmann? Well, "she doesn't like Muslims," Paul said. "She hates Muslims. She wants to go get 'em." Rick Santorum, too, has a preoccupation with "gay people and Muslims."

Here's the clip:

Best of the debate: Ron Paul v. Michele Bachmann

Presidential debates allow voters to hear how candidates differ, and there are few policy differences as great as that between Rep. Ron Paul and Rep. Michele Bachmann on Iran. Take this exchange from last night:

Bachmann:

“Without a shadow of a doubt, Iran will take a nuclear weapon, they will use it to wipe our ally Israel off the face of the map and they’ve stated they will use it against the United States of America.”

For what it’s worth, Politifact has looked into Bachmann’s claim and rated it “false.”

RickPerry.com reroutes visitors to Ron Paul’s 2012 site

By Karen Brooks

Update, 6:30pm ET: RickPerry.com is no longer sending visitors to ronpaul2012.com.

Original post:

It’s common knowledge that Texas Gov. Rick Perry has plenty of campaign money – the question is, would he be willing to let go of about $50,000 of it in the name of cyber politics?

Critics of Perry and fans of fellow GOP presidential candidate Congressman Ron Paul are laughing this week over the fact that www.RickPerry.com redirects visitors to Paul’s campaign website.

Republicans, again, look to older White House candidates

If presidential candidates, like fine wine, improve with age, the 2012 Republican field is in luck.  The top three contenders — Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul — would each be one of the oldest U.S. presidents ever if he were to defeat Barack Obama and win the White House in 2012.

Gingrich, who currently leads the Republican pack, would be 69 years and 7 months old on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2013. That would make him the second-oldest first-term U.S. president, just behind Ronald Reagan, who was 69 years and 11 months old when he first took the oath of office in January 1981.

Romney is a bit younger than Gingrich, who was Speaker of the House in the 1990s. But, at 65 years and 10 months old on Jan. 20, 2013, Romney would be tied for third place in the presidential age stakes, after Reagan and William Henry Harrison. James Buchanan, the 15th U.S. president, was 65 years, 10 months and 9 days old when he was sworn in on March 4, 1857, the same age that Romney would be.

from Political Theater:

With Barney Frank’s farewell, a few video highlights

Whatever your view of his politics, it is difficult to deny Rep. Barney Frank's inimitable facility with the spoken word. With the news of his retirement, it seems only appropriate to look back on a few of his best video moments.

Ezra Klein deserves a hearty hat tip for his roundup (do check it out), which leads with the most must-see of Frank's takedowns:

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Frank also has strong opinions about members of the current Republican presidential field, particularly Newt Gingrich, who suggested during a recent debate that Frank might deserve prison time for his role in the housing crisis (more at this video):