Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Sunday vowed to be more careful citing sources but insisted that a “dueling” gunfight against “hacks and haters” like MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, who uncovered his plagiarism of Wikipedia, would be the ultimate solution if it were legal.
During a interview on Sunday, ABC host George Stephanopoulos asked Paul to explain charges that several of his speeches had used the exact language found in Wikipedia.
“I will admit, sometimes we haven’t footnoted things properly,” Paul agreed. “In fact, I’ve given thousands of speeches and I don’t think I’ve ever footnoted any of those speeches… 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.”
“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,” he added. “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.”
However, the potential Republican presidential candidate still seemed confused about what exactly he needed to do to prevent charges of plagiarism in the future.
“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 complained. “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.”
Over the weekend, BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski found that Paul had copied 1,318 words from a 2003 case study by the Heritage Foundation without making it clear that he had not authored the material.
Watch this video from ABC’s This Week, broadcast Nov. 3, 2013.