Ron Paul spent Sunday explaining all the things he doesn't believe in, like: George W. Bush knowing about the 9/11 attacks, AIDS victims not getting health insurance, he's planning an third-party run and all the racist parts of his 1990s newsletters. Last week, Paul avoided reporters after the spent a couple weeks digging up the weirdest things his name was attached to. But this weekend Paul rested at home in Texas, instead of campaigning in the last days before the Iowa caucuses, and then took to the Sunday morning talk circuit. The strategy choice, says Politico's James Hohmann, shows that "Paul’s bid remains at heart a movement, rather than a single-minded effort to capture the GOP nomination… As much as anything else, his pitch centers on sending a message." But Paul has had to work really hard to make sure voters know exactly what that message is -- and that they don't confuse it with 9/11 trutherism or something like that.
Not a 9/11 conspiracy theorist
Paul started yelling on ABC News' This Week when Jake Tapper asked about Paul's ex-staffer's allegations that he believed in 9/11 conspiracy theories, like that President Bush knew the terrorist attacks were coming. "Now, wait, wait, wait, wait! Don’t – don’t go any further on that. That’s complete nonsense."
Not the author of his newsletters
Paul also said that he didn't write racist newsletters, even if letting someone else write that under his name showed he wasn't the best manager. "I admit that I'm an imperfect person and didn't monitor that as well but to paint my whole life on that is a gross distortion."
Not opposed to health insurance for AIDS patients
On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace asked Paul about some of his other writings. In 1987, Paul wrote in his book Freedom Under Seige, "The individual suffering from AIDS certainly is a victim, frequently a victim of his own lifestyle, but the same individual victimizes innocent citizens by forcing them to pay for his care." Asked if he still supports that statement, Paul said people who get STDs get them though their own actions. "Congressman, do you think someone who suffers from AIDS should not be entitled to health insurance as opposed to let's say somebody who has a heterosexually transmitted disease?" Wallace asked. "No, I never said that," Paul said. He explained he just thought those people should buy insurance.
Not a third-party candidate
Paul told CNN's State of the Union that he was not thinking about running on a third-party ticket, USA Today notes. "I haven't even thought of it except when you people keep asking me... I'm essentially tied for first...why would I even think of doing anything like that."
Not a fan of segregation
He also had to explain to CNN that he doesn't think Jim Crow laws should have been allowed to stand. Mediaite notes Candy Crowley asked the candidate whether he still thinks the 1964 Civil Rights Act made racial tensions worse while reducing individual liberty. "We could have done it a better way, because the Jim Crow laws obviously we had to get rid of and we're all better off for that," Paul said. "And that is an important issue so I supported that." But the law paved the way for the Patriot Act and other laws to "come into our bedrooms."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.