(NEW YORK) — On This Week Sunday, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., dismissed charges of plagiarism in his speeches and writing made in the last week, saying he was being “unfairly targeted by a bunch of hacks and haters” who he wishes he could challenge to a “duel.”
“The footnote police have really been dogging me for the last week. I will admit that. And I will admit, sometimes we haven’t footnoted things properly,” Paul told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.
“In some of the other things that are now going to pop up under thousands of things I’ve written, yeah, there are times when they have been sloppy or not correct or we’ve made an error,” Paul said. “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.”
“When I wrote scientific papers, I sometimes had statements with eight footnotes for one sentence. Is that what you want me to do for my speeches? If it’s required, I’ll do it,” Paul added. “But I think I’m being unfairly targeted by a bunch of hacks and haters. And I’m just not going to put up with people casting aspersions on my character.”
Last week, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow accused the Kentucky senator of plagiarism, alleging that he lifted lines from the Wikipedia entry on the film Gattaca in a recent speech in Virginia. Paul seemingly used several lines of description of the film from its Wikipedia page as part of a critique of pro-abortion rights advocates. Buzzfeed‘s Andrew Kaczynski also reported that Paul had used multiple lines of text from Wikipedia for his description of the film Stand and Deliver during a speech in June.
Paul brushed off the accusations of plagiarism in an interview with Fusion’s Jorge Ramos the following day, but new examples have continued to surface. On Saturday, Buzzfeed reported that Paul had used nearly verbatim more than 1,300 words from a 2003 Heritage Foundation case study in his 2013 book Government Bullies. Politico also reported similarities between text in two of Paul’s speeches and text from reports by the Associated Press and a conservative magazine. A Paul adviser responded to Politico that Paul would be “more cautious in presenting and attributing sources” going forward.
On This Week, Paul joked that he wished he could challenge his critics to a “duel” over the charges.
“If dueling were legal in Kentucky, if they keep it up, you know, it would be a duel challenge,” Paul said. “But I can’t do that, because I can’t hold office in Kentucky then.”
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