HOUSTON (CBS Houston) — A prominent Houston Democrat has called for Texas Rep. Ron Paul to either apologize for racially-charged newsletters published under Paul’s name or drop out of the presidential race.
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, who represents the Houston district that was long represented by civil rights champion Barbara Jordan, said Friday that Paul needs to address the issue of the newsletters head on or put his presidential ambitions aside.
“Ron Paul cannot continue to pursue the position of the presidency of the United States of America without formally apologizing and discussing his true positions regarding these newsletter writings,” Jackson Lee said in a statement.
The Houston Chronicle reports that one newsletter article that is written under Paul’s name describes Jordan as being “the archetypal half-educated victimologist, yet her race and sex protect her from criticism.”
Jackson Lee, one of the more vocal Democrats in Houston, has compared Paul’s situation to that of Barack Obama’s situation with his one-time pastor, Jeremiah Wright, in 2008. The Houston Democrat has pushed for Paul to give a speech on race and the history of race in America to help bring closure to the issue surrounding the newsletters written under his name.
Campaign officials for Paul, who has emerged as one of the frontrunners in the Iowa caucuses, have admitted that Paul should have policed the issue much better but emphasize that the newsletters were written by a ghostwriter, not Paul.
“Dr. Paul has assumed responsibility, apologized for his lack of oversight and disavowed the offensive material,” Paul campaign chairman Jesse Benton told the Chronicle.