Does Rand Paul plagiarize *every* speech?
Paul first faced questions of plagiarism earlier this week for apparently lifting some language in a speech from the Wikipedia entry for the 1997 film “Gattaca.” The potential 2016 presidential candidate dismissed that initial report – from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow – as the work of “haters.” BuzzFeed also reported Tuesday that Paul had copied language from the Wikipedia entry on the movie “Stand and Deliver.”
The latest examples include a 2013 speech by Paul responding to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address. The senator said this, according to remarks distributed by his office: “Under President Obama, the ranks of America’s poor swelled to almost 1 in 6 people last year, reaching a new high as long-term unemployment left millions of Americans struggling and out of work.”
That language exactly mirrored a 2011 Associated Press report that began: “The ranks of America’s poor swelled to almost 1 in 6 people last year, reaching a new high as long-term unemployment left millions of Americans struggling and out of work.”
In a second instance of questionable borrowing, Paul told an audience at Howard University about a young man, Ronald Holassie, whom he cited as a success story of the D.C. school voucher program.
“By sixth grade, Ronald Holassie was failing most of his classes, but through school choice he was able to attend a Catholic school in the D.C. area,” Paul told listeners, according to his website. “There, he learned that he had a natural gift for composing music, but before that, his reading level was so low that he had struggled to write lyrics.”
A 2010 passage in CitizenLink, the magazine of the social conservative group Focus on the Family, used nearly identical turns of phrase to recount Holassie’s story: “[Holassie] described public schools where fighting was more common than learning. By the sixth grade, Ronald was failing most of his classes. He has a natural gift for composing music, but was so far behind in reading that he struggled to write lyrics.”