After Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC report kicked off a week of subsequent discoveries that Rand Paul plagiarized sections of Wikipedia, magazine articles, and think tanks for his speeches, op-eds, and books, the Kentucky senator has admitted to improper sourcing, citing a staff error.
“In the thousands of speeches and op-eds Sen. Paul has produced, he has always presented his own ideas, opinions and conclusions,” said Doug Stafford, Paul’s senior adviser, in a statement. “Sen. Paul also relies on a large number of staff and advisers to provide supporting facts and anecdotes — some of which were not clearly sourced or vetted properly.”
Maddow first discovered Paul’s tendency to lift from other sources last Monday, noting that a recent speech lifted parts of a Wikipedia entry about the film “Gattaca.” Paul had been defiant, calling the charges against him the work of “hacks and haters” and challenging Maddow to a duel.
But after several outlets picked up on additional instances of plagiarism, Paul was forced to admit that he (or at least, his staff) had erred.
Stafford promised that, in the future, Paul would have a new “approval process” in place and “quoting, footnoting and citing will be more complete.”
Paul was less contrite in an interview with the New York Times, however, saying “What we are going to do from here forward, if it will make people leave me the hell alone, is we’re going to do them like college papers.”