November 5th, 2013
06:40 PM ET
9 years ago

Rand Paul on plagiarism: 'We've been sloppy'

(CNN) - Sen. Rand Paul took responsibility Tuesday for instances of plagiarism exposed in his speeches and writings, saying his office has been "sloppy" and pledging to add footnotes to all of his future material.

"Ultimately I'm the boss, and things go out under my name, and so it is my fault," Paul said on CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.

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The Kentucky Republican emphasized that he never intentionally tried to use others' ideas or words as his own.

"Did we make mistakes? Yeah, I'm the first to admit that I'm imperfect. But at the same time, I do get offended when people try to cast aspersions on my character - because I'm honest," he said. "I've never tried to mislead people. I've made mistakes, but you know, I think that's different than trying to attack someone's character."

The Washington Times, a right-leaning newspaper, announced later Tuesday it will drop Paul's weekly column, saying the Senator failed to attribute a passage in one of his September columns. The passage was originally from Forbes, according to the Times.

"We expect our columnists to submit original work and to properly attribute material, and we appreciate that the senator and his staff have taken responsibility for an oversight in one column," Times Editor John Solomon said.

BuzzFeed reported that Paul also lifted a line from another news outlet, The Week, for a column in The Washington Times.

While Paul argued Tuesday that 98% of his speeches are extemporaneous, he and his staff will now "footnote everything as if it were a college paper."

"I do take this personally and I don't want to be accused of misrepresenting myself," he continued. "I've never intended to do so, but I think we've been sloppy and we're going to try to be much more precise in the future."

His interview came after CNN's Dana Bash reported earlier Tuesday that Paul was "restructuring the approval process" to avoid any further instances of misusing other people's material, according to spokeswoman Moira Bagley.

Rand Paul accused of Wikipedia plagiarism

A defiant Paul spoke Tuesday to the New York Times, saying the changes are intended to "make people leave me the hell alone," but did not rule out the discovery of more instances.

Over the weekend, Paul pushed back against the increasing number of accusations of plagiarism, including a new claim that Paul lifted more than a thousand words from a Heritage Foundation study for his 2013 book.

A spokesman for Heritage told CNN that they're happy to have their work cited by Paul and that the straight lifting of the paragraphs didn't bother them.

- CNN's Ashley Killough, Paul Steinhauser, and Brian Todd contributed to this report.

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.

Filed under: Rand Paul • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. The Real Tom Paine

    See, Aqua Budda? All you had to do was ask Heritage, and they would be more than happy to let you cite their work. Just don't try to pass off other people's work as your own.

    November 5, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  2. Tampa Tim

    Plagiarism, lying, government shutdown and default, are just a few of those republican qualities that the brain dead look up to.

    November 5, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  3. rs

    Perhaps if Mr. Paul actually had thoughts of his own......

    November 5, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  4. Hammerer

    Tampa, for your information, obomber is not a republican!

    November 5, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    Wikipedia, the new Cliff Notes for right wingnuts.

    November 5, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  6. PaulCat

    It's ok, the tea party people doesn't care.
    But let it have been a Democrat.
    People in the U.S. really need to wake up.

    November 5, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. Marie MD

    Here's a hint. Stop talking. Nobody. Ares about what you say. Take a page from your governor. He seems to have more sense than you and that other old guy.

    November 5, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  8. Tampa Tim

    Hammered – Domestic terrorists from the GOP look up to liars and plagiarists. Government shutdown is just what goopers do best. Oh, and thank God President Obama is not a brain dead republican.

    November 5, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  9. AmericanPatriot

    Rand Paul supports legalized dueling. That's just peachy...

    November 5, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    The only sure fix is to fire his entire staff and retire from politics.

    November 5, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    "......... make people leave me the hell alone".

    Happy to, Rant. If you just go away, you will be left alone in your world of make believe, as it
    should be.

    November 5, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. Tampa Tim

    Rand Paul needs to return to 8th grade and learn how to write reports by citing sources.

    November 5, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |

    Dopey Rand Paul is officially ready for the 2016 Guns Over People tea potty 2016 clown car. He's a laughingstock like Snooki Palin,Trump,999 Cain,Bachmann,Ricky Santorum and Mitt the twit.

    November 5, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. sammy750

    ""people can call me dishonest, misleading or misrepresenting"" that is what Paul stands for. Like most Republicans they LIE, give out mis-information and are dishonest. This is what Paul stands for. He cannot admit it to the people, He has to those that caught his lies and stolen words in his book and his speeches. Come clean Paul, confess the truth to the people

    November 5, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  15. The Real Tom Paine

    The sad thing about this is that the thoughts he was trying to pass off as his own really were not that profound, but, to the no-information voters he appeals to, he must have seemed like the smartest kid in the redneck high school.

    November 5, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    Now we know why he cannot pass medical board exam. He does not like to follow rules and orders.

    November 5, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  17. Hammerer

    Lie – to present false information with the intention of deceiving.
    Can you point out one truthful statement that obomber has made?
    Except the "I'm pretty good at killing people."

    November 5, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  18. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Sen. Buddha, why are you making so many changes to your website? Speeches that were there 2 weeks ago aren't up there anymore. Plagiarism says a lot about your intelligent thought process. It's non existent.

    November 5, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  19. Tampa Tim

    Death panels, government takeover, the war will take 30 days with hardly any casualties, mission accomplished, paling with terrorists, and my favorite republican lie, "Country First."

    November 5, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  20. Thomas

    Was he home schooled ?

    Rand Paul wants to legalize dueling , that would be great on CPAN .

    Paul is a legend in his own mind , similar to Ted Cruz , Marco Rubio , and Newt Goodwrench .

    November 5, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  21. Tampa Tim

    Speaking of websites, see if you can find the republican health care plan on Boehner's website.

    November 5, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  22. Lynda/Minnesota

    "A defiant Paul spoke Tuesday to The New York Times, saying the changes are intended to "make people leave me the hell alone" but did not rule out more instances will be discovered."

    Defiant? He got caught pretending to use big words penned and published by others. Why the defiance?

    November 5, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC


    Lie – to present false information with the intention of deceiving.
    Can you point out one truthful statement that obomber has made?
    Except the "I'm pretty good at killing people."
    Killed Osama Bin Laden. You set the rules, dude. You can't start "evolving" now. You're a conservative. True conservatives don't waffle on a position. Are you a flip-flopper coming out of the closet, or something? They'll kick you out of the whole right wing movement if they find this out.

    November 5, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  24. Malory Archer


    Can you point out one truthful statement that obomber has made?


    If I knew who "obomber" was perhaps I could help you with that. Never heard of any such person.

    November 5, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Oh no a thousand words Haha you people are ridiculous get your heads out your behinds and realize this guy fights for your rights more than your own damn state appointed reps....try saying you don't like his proposed amendment as well lol any american citizens who actually cares about their rights would look more closely at everything rand and the "other old man" have to say..I'm only a college student but even I can see that day by day my rights are getting taken away...I'm not a conspiracy theorist or any aluminum hat wearing loser just a concerned citizen who can see when my govt is giving it to me like I'm a prison b#$%h...Paul's the only one who makes any sense or has a backbone watch c-span or someother live meetings instead of just taking in everything you hear from the main stream media...maybe you'll wake the hell up and stop ruining my future as well as everyone else in the up an coming generation cause clearly the older gen. only cares about now and themselves and likes a pres who lies more than clinton or maybe dislikes him but almost put another problem (Romney) in office..not liking what I see for my future

    November 5, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
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