Writes Eric Dondero, who was a senior aide to Ron Paul, 1997-2003, campaign coordinator in 1995/96, the national organizer of Draft Ron Paul for President (1991/92), and a personal assistant to Ron Paul 1987/88.
Dondero also writes that Ron Paul is not a racist, that in 12 years of working for the man, he "never heard a racist word expressed towards Blacks or Jews come out of his mouth." I note the limitation "toward Blacks or Jews" and have no idea whether Dondero intended to create a suspicion that he may have heard a "racist word" against some other group or groups. Dondero calls Paul "clueless when it comes to Hispanic and Black culture, particularly Mexican-American culture" and "most certainly intolerant of Spanish and those who speak strictly Spanish in his presence." This is strong language — most certainly intolerant and clueless — and we're left to guess what kind of cantankerous or inept remarks Dondero heard over the years.
Consider that "racist" is such a strong word that it might mean little to say I've never heard a racist word. I have no idea what sorts of things Ron Paul actually said. In fact, for all I know, Dondero would say that the things in the Ron Paul Letter that have caused Ron Paul so much trouble were not racist, though they were certainly clueless and intolerant.
As to gay people, Dondero has this:
Is Ron Paul a homo-phobe? Well, yes and no. He is not all bigoted towards homosexuals. He supports their rights to do whatever they please in their private lives. He is however, personally uncomfortable around homosexuals, no different from a lot of older folks of his era.So what's Dondero saying? Paul is okay with gay people as long as they stay away from him? And we should cut him some slack because he's an old guy? Not very encouraging to those of us who expect the work in the executive branch and the military to be fully open to gay people. Dondero recounts a couple incidents: 1. Ron Paul refused to use the bathroom at a gay man's house (and yelled at Dondero for not getting him out to some fast food restaurant where he could use the bathroom), and 2. Paul "literally swatted... away" the hand of a gay man who reached out to shake hands with him. Dondero writes: "I would not categorize that as 'homo-phobic,' but rather just unsettled by being around gays personally." This says something about Dondero's standards, Dondero who "never heard a racist word." But exactly what did he hear that he's not classifying as not racist the way he's not classifying those bathroom and hand-shaking incidents as homophobic?
There's quite a bit more to Dondero's article, covering the "sheer lunacy" of Ron Paul's ideas about foreign policy and asserting that he "expressed no sympathies whatsoever for those who died on 9/11, and pretty much forbade us staffers from engaging in any sort of memorial expressions." Dondero says that "Ron Paul was opposed to the War in Afghanistan, and to any military reaction to the attacks of 9/11," and that he would have voted no on the war resolution, but switched his vote at the last minute for reasons Dondero only guesses about.