American singer Kelly Clarkson defended her decision to back Ron Paul’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination today as the controversy over his newsletters resurfaced.
Voicing her support for the 76-year-old Congressman, she had said on Twitter: “I love Ron Paul. I liked him a lot during the last Republican nomination and no one gave him a chance.
“If he wins the nomination for the Republican party in 2012 he’s got my vote. Too bad he probably won’t.”
Paul, a doctor, has campaigned in two previous elections, once as the Libertarian Party candidate and once for the Republican nomination, but is struggling to shake off controversial newsletters published under his name over twenty years ago.
Having already surfaced in his previous campaigns, the newsletters have been denounced for including apparently homophobic and racist statements.
A Twitter account, @RP_Newsletter, has been set up to send out quotes from the newsletters, which were first written in 1976.
One 1994 publication claims that gay men had no reason to live past 50 as they would “have no children”, and enjoyed the “pity” associated with AIDS.
Another newsletter attributed to Paul said “opinion polls consistently show only about 5% of blacks have sensible political opinions”.
Paul has denied direct involvement in the many controversial statements, saying he “disavowed” them.
In a call-in show on WHO-AM radio in Iowa, Paul said he would write the parts of his newsletters on economics, but sometimes statements were included without his awareness: “It wasn’t a reflection of my views at all [...] I think it was terrible.
“It was tragic, and I had some responsibility for it, because the name went out in my letter. But I was not an editor. I’m like a publisher.”
After being criticised for supporting Paul, Clarkson said: “I am really sorry if I have offended anyone.
“Obviously, that was not my intent. I do not support racism. I support gay rights, straight rights, women’s rights, men’s rights, white/black/purple/orange rights.
“I like Ron Paul because he believes in less government and letting the people (all of us) make the decisions and mold our country. That is all. Out of all of the Republican nominees, he’s my favorite.”
A Representative for Texas, Paul campaigns on libertarian views and believes the federal government should not define marriage, voting in favour of the Defense of Marriage Act to protect individual states from being forced to recognise gay marriages entered into in other states.
In 2007 he said he supported gay couples marrying, so long as they did not “impose” it on others.
“I’m pretty sure I’ve never been with a girl! I don’t take any notice of that now and neither do my friends and family. It’s just stupid.”