Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), accused of plagiarism in his speeches, doesn’t take it lightly.
Asked about the accusations on Sunday, Mr. Paul, a man of normally courtly demeanor, appeared to grit his teeth. The senator is considered a top Republican presidential prospect for 2016, and such charges can do harm.
“I take it as an insult, and I will not lie down and say people can call me dishonest, misleading or misrepresenting,” he said, dismissing his critics as “hacks and haters.” Presumably in jest, Mr. Paul added: “If dueling were legal in Kentucky, if they keep it up, it’d be a duel challenge.”
The plagiarism story was first reported on “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC, and the website BuzzFeed followed up, describing a speech from June in which Mr. Paul appeared to have lifted words from a separate Wikipedia entry.
Mr. Paul insisted, in an appearance Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” that he normally gives credit where it is due. He said that he often credited primary sources but, favoring extemporaneous speaking, sometimes neglected to cite secondary ones.
He promised, going forward, to do more “footnoting.”
For one thing, reciting a Wikipedia article verbatim is not “extemporaneous.” Second, as one of my more colorful acquaintances from the good old days of SFDB likes to remind me, Wikipedia is considered to be a suspect source among the True Believers of the far right. No respectable nutjob would cite that hive of left-wing propaganda. Perhaps that’s why Mr. Paul left out the citation. Yeah, that’s it.