This is about all you need to know about Ron Paul:

In brief: he’s a nasty-minded bigot who calls blacks animals, supports Southern secession, admired Klansman David Duke, hates gays and Jews, wallows in conspiracy theories, praised the militia movement.

No doubt Paul didn’t write everything that appeared in the Ron Paul Freedom Report and his other newsletters, which is his current excuse.  Think about that at face value for a moment: this guy wants to be president, but has a history of his subordinates doing things he repudiates?  This is a defense of the guy?

But Paul’s move is just a standard right-wing dodge: say what you really mean to your supporters, and lie like hell when the mainstream asks about it.  (Arguably the intent isn’t even to snow opponents– though that’s a nice by-product if it works– but to mollify the center right.  If it’s done right, the core supporters will take the incendiary bigotry as real, at the same time the more centrist folks will dismiss it as meaningless eccentricity.)