Ron Paul absolutely knew about the racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic content in his newsletters—and, indeed, strategically embraced it as a means of boosting sales, sources tell the Washington Post. "It was his newsletter … so he always got to see the final product," says one former secretary in Paul's company. "He would proof it." A former longtime Paul aide confirms that, saying he personally saw Paul signing off on the newsletters. "The real big money came from some of that racially tinged stuff," he says.
Ed Crane, head of the libertarian Cato Institute, says he had a strategy discussion with Paul at the time, in which the two agreed that "people who have extreme views" were most likely to respond to direct mail solicitations. Newsletter sales were lagging at the time, and people familiar with Paul's business say he decided to "morph" the newsletters to capitalize on racial tensions. The passages were mostly written by longtime associate Lew Rockwell, who at the time was publicly calling on libertarians to reach out to civil rights opponents, according to the New York Times. Paul's campaign denies the reports, saying Paul was practicing medicine full time, and was unaware of the offensive material. (Read more Lew Rockwell stories.)