Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul of Texas “was opposed to the war in Afghanistan and to any military reaction to the attacks of 9/11,” but ultimately voted in favor of them because of pressure from his staff, a former aide says.
The aide, Eric Dondero, worked for Paul from 1987 to 2003. In a statement released Monday, Dondero said he resigned over political and personal issues, including Paul’s opposition to the war in Iraq, reports DailyCaller.com
Dondero, who also has been known as Eric Rittberg, claims Paul subscribed to conspiracy theories behind the Sept. 11 attacks, including that they were “coordinated by the CIA, and that the Bush administration might have known about” them. Paul also took a cold stance on the victims, says Dondero, whom the Paul campaign describes as a disgruntled former employe who was fired and subsequently ran against the congressman.
“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, or openly asserting pro-military statements in support of the Bush administration,” the statement reads.
Dondero writes that he and other Paul staffers agreed to resign if Paul voted against the invasion of Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks, and that Paul changed his vote “at the very last minute.”
“I strongly suspected that he realized it would have been political suicide,” Dondero says.
Dondero’s statement also responds to allegations that the candidate is anti-Semitic, homophobic, and racist.
Paul, is “absolutely” not an anti-Semite, he continued, but he is “most certainly anti-Israel and anti-Israeli in general,” and “supports [the Palestinians] calls for the abolishment of the Jewish state, and the return of Israel, all of it, to the Arabs.”
“In short,” Dondero said, Paul is not a racist — just “out of touch with both Hispanic and black culture.”
Dondero writes that Paul has no interest in their private lives but is "personally uncomfortable around homosexuals, no different from a lot of older folks of his era,” Dondero writes.
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