Internet hype is cutting both ways for Texas’s favorite Libertarian-turned-Republican presidential candidate, Ron Paul. For a while, it looked like the netroots would be a boon to Paul’s anit-war, anti-government, anti-everything candidacy. Paul’s celebrity took off when he faced down Rudy Giuliani over the 9/11 Commission Report in a debate in May. After getting attacked by Giuliani for suggesting the 9/11 was the product of “blowback,” Paul had a measured and wise response.
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Then, YouTubers started digging up clips of Paul going bat-shit crazy on the Morton Downey Jr. Show in the 80s. First, there was a scene of Paul slamming an overweight guy on the Morton Downey Jr. show, telling him to go on a diet.
Now, another Downey v. Paul smackdown has surfaced. In this segment, Paul claims the CIA is complicit with drug dealers. The smoking-mad Mort Jr. lights into him. At the 4:00 mark, Downey calls Paul “slime.” Mort gets close enough to Paul’s face to kiss him. “If you were in the White House,” he says, “I’d puke on you.” Thankfully for Paul’s candidacy, Mort Jr. died in 2001.
Of course, it’s possible that these old clips might make Paul even more popular. He’s certainly the most entertaining candidate out there. -- Russell Cobb