Why Ron Paul Walked Off

Via Jason Pye, I finally get to check out all 8 minutes and thirty seconds of Gloria Borger’s interview with Ron Paul. “It turns out that what CNN aired was the end of an interview,” argues Pye, “but not the first several minutes leading up to the question from Gloria Borger about the newsletters:

Does Paul look any better in context? Borger asks a bunch of questions from the headlines – payroll tax, negative ads – before getting to the newsmaker question. This is about as “tricky” an interview technique as asking a subject how to spell his name. You save the tough question for the end. Borger ends up spending 3 minutes with the subject, because Paul attempts to cut it off.

BORGER: You did read them.

PAUL: Not all the time, but on occasion, yes.

BORGER: Did you ever object?

PAUL: We talked about this twice yesterday on CNN. Why don’t you go back and see what I said yesterday on CNN and what I’ve said for 20-some years?

This doesn’t change the story in a material way. Borger keeps trying to justify her approach, telling Paul that the issue won’t go away. “Because of people like you,” he snaps. He takes off his gear, and Borger (with some theatricality) keeps explaining why she wanted answers to newsletter questions. “You understand it’s our job to ask them,” she says. “You don’t?”

“I understand how the system works,” he says. He’s done. He’s out. He doesn’t handle it well, and he comes off to everyone but diehard fans as a politician who wants to duck an irritating question. (If you’re a fan, you’ve probably been posting angry comments attacking Borger for her neo-con audacity.)