Ron Paul supporters have just released a new ad that seems aimed at repairing the damage done by the racist newsletters released under his name in the ’90’s. The ad shows a black man named James Williams recounting how during the ’70’s Paul, then a doctor at a Texas hospital, helped his pregnant sick wife, who was white, when no one else came to their aid.
Following an uproar over decades-old racist newsletters published under Ron Paul’s name, a newly released ad seems designed to address the perception that the GOP presidential hopeful is prejudiced.
The video, released by Revolution PAC, features a black man whose sick, pregnant white wife was neglected at a Texas hospital during the early 1970s because of what he saw as prejudice — until “Ron Paul came to the rescue.” Paul worked as a doctor at the facility.
In the ad — which never mentions the newsletter controversy — James Williams, of Matagorda County, Texas, recounts a harrowing experience at the hospital, where he said the biracial couple fell victim to racism.
He says that his ailing wife was left unattended, and his repeated requests for help made to the head nurse were not only rebuffed, but prompted a call to police, because the nurse felt harassed.
As Williams despaired, he said Paul emerged, and offered to care for his wife. Ten minutes later, Williams said, their child was delivered — a stillborn boy.
Paul told him he’d take care of the bill, and Williams said he was never charged.
“He was a doctor of medicine, and that’s what he was doing, practicing medicine. And it didn’t matter who and what and why,” Williams said.
Paul helped, Williams said, because “he thinks of one human being just as much as another one. He’s just an honest man. And that’s something we need now in this day and time. “
Veering into politics, Williams condemns attempts to “blot out” Paul because he is an honest politician.
The ad ends with a call to donate money to get the video shown on television, but it’s clearly had no trouble attracting attention.
Paul has repeatedly disavowed the content of the controversial newsletters, saying they were penned by ghostwriters and conceding he should have done a better job of keeping track of them. The screeds’ targets included blacks and homosexuals.
“Dr. Paul has assumed responsibility, apologized for his lack of oversight and disavowed the offensive material,” his spokesman told Reuters recently.
Despite the controversy, Paul has been faring well in recent days, with an NBC/Marist poll Friday showing Paul running two percentage points behind frontrunner Mitt Romney as Tuesday’s Iowa caucuses loom.
Jonathan Capehart argued in the Washington Post on Thursday that the new ad does not go far enough to address concerns raised by the newsletters.
“Paul, a man who wants to be entrusted with the presidency, owes the American people a clear accounting of how hatred came to be scribbled regularly in publications bearing his name and how he had no knowledge of it. His dismissive disavowal of the matter is beyond inadequate. As is the ad from supporter,” Capehart wrote.
MSNBC’s First Read reported that part of the ad was played for Paul during an appearance on WHO radio in Iowa, and the congressman was moved.
He said that while he was just doing his job that day in Texas, “I never had the knowledge [of] how grateful he was and to me that is magnificent,” MSNBC quoted Paul as saying.
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