The Ron Paul campaign appears to have removed a press release touting the endorsement of Rev. Phillip G. Kayser, a Nebraska pastor who has called for instituting the death penalty against homosexuals.
As TPM reported on Wednesday, Paul’s Iowa chair Drew Ivers praised the fundamentalist leader in a campaign release in which he specifically credited Kayser with “the enlightening statements he makes on how Ron Paul’s approach to government is consistent with Christian beliefs.”
As of this evening, however, the press release has been removed from the Ron Paul for President website, apparently in response to the earlier article. The content of the release is still available, however, as blogger Doug Mataconis recorded the text and posted a screenshot on his website.
The Paul campaign has not responded to repeated requests for comment on Kayser (including an additional request this evening for comment on the removal of the press release) and the role of anti-gay activists in the campaign. Mike Heath, Paul’s Iowa state director, for example, chaired Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, whose anti-gay campaigns led them to be condemned as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. According to a recent press release, Heath has visited 295 churches on behalf of the Paul campaign to promote the candidate’s message in the religious community.
Paul is currently facing intense scrutiny over a series of newsletters he published in the 1980s and the 1990s that, among other homophobic passages, warned of a “federal-homosexual coverup on AIDS.” Paul claims he had no knowledge of the newsletters’ content, even as they were published under his name.
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.