Politics

NR editor: Paul has ‘sullied’ libertarianism’ with ‘bigots’ and ‘conspiracy kooks’ [VIDEO]

Photo of Jeff Poor
Jeff Poor
Media Reporter

In an appearance on Fox News on Tuesday, National Review editor Rich Lowry elaborated on a column he had written that day taking aim at the “fringe” elements of Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

Paul, Lowry said, ”has a lot of appealing aspects to him. He’s a very sincere guy, he’s very knowledgeable. He has a cranky charm in these debates. But he’s also dabbled in trutherism over 9/11. He’s talked about there being a CIA coup in this country. And then there are these newsletters, which are finally getting the prominence they deserve.”

Watch:

Lowry called Paul’s newsletters, which were printed by Paul in the 1990s, “rancid and bigoted,” and suggested there were a different set of standards for the Texas congressman. (WATCH: Scarborough: ‘There is always a strain of anti-Semitism’ at Ron Paul events

“I think if any other presidential candidate were saying that he would be disqualified in a minute,” Lowry said. “There are different rules for Ron Paul, apparently.”

Lowry said there were some commendable qualities about Paul and how his rise has impacted Republican politics. But, he said that Paul has tarnished his point of view by surrounding himself with the wrong people.

“I think the shame of Ron Paul is that he has taken what is an admirable and important point of view in our politics —libertarianism — and because he hasn’t had high enough standards for the kind of people he is associated with, he’s sullied it with these bigots that wrote his newsletter, and with these conspiracy kooks he too often gives credence to,” Lowry said.

Although National Review hasn’t outright endorsed a candidate, Lowry said he wouldn’t be surprised if the possibility were left open for another candidate to enter the running.

“Unfortunately, I think it’s a very weak field,” Lowry said. “I think it’s much easier to say negative things about the field than positive things. And I think there is still a possibility that if this stays chaotic — let’s say Ron Paul wins Iowa, let’s say Mitt Romney loses New Hampshire — you could see a real serious draft effort for someone else. Even if it’s not chaotic and Mitt Romney is the front-runner throughout, there will be a serious effort to keep him below 50 percent in the delegate count so you can go into the convention with at least the possibility of getting a new candidate.”

Follow Jeff on Twitter