Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) mused about “dueling” his critics who have accused him of plagiarism in some of his speeches on Sunday.
Over the past week, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski and Politico, among others, have dug up instances in which Paul has lifted large chunks of his speeches from Wikipedia entries and published stories from The Associated Press and other outlets. Maddow first detailed how he lifted, nearly word for word, the Wikipedia entry for the science-fiction film “Gattaca.”
On Sunday, during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos, Paul joked that he wished dueling were still legal in Kentucky so he could challenge their claims. He also blasted the “footnote police,” who he called nothing more than “hacks and haters.”
Here’s his full explanation and rebuttal (emphasis added):
In the speech in question, I quoted from “1984,” “Gattaca,” “My Left Foot,” Michelangelo, Einstein, and Ray Bradbury, among maybe a dozen others. And I attributed everything or attributed everything to them.
But I didn’t get into the secondary sources and say I quoted Einstein as according to an AP story or as according to Wikipedia.
So I think the spoken word shouldn’t be held to the same sort of standard that you have if you’re giving a scientific paper. I’ve written scientific papers. I know how to footnote things.
But we’ve never footnoted speeches. And if that’s the standard I’m going to be held to, yes, we will change and we will footnote things.
Everything in that paper, if I had presented it for an academic — or that speech for an academic publication, would have had footnotes next to it.
In smooth things that are now going to pop up under thousands of things that I’ve written, yes, there are times when they have been sloppy or not correct or we’ve made an error.
But the difference is, I take it as an insult and I will not lie down and say people can call me dishonest, misleading or misrepresenting. I have never intentionally done so. And like I say, if, you know, if dueling were legal in Kentucky, if they keep it up, you know, it would be a duel challenge. But I can’t do that, because I can’t hold office in Kentucky then.
Paul went on to say that he was willing to change how he footnotes his speeches, but added that he thought he was being unfairly targeted by “hacks and haters.”
Here’s the full video (the plagiarism talk comes around the 5:30 mark):
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