The Slatest

Rand Paul Made Sure to Cite Everyone In His Speech Today—Even Himself

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) delivered on his college paper-themed promise on Tuesday

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Anyone who followed the Great Rand Paul Plagiarism Scandal of 2013 last week will probably smile if they head on over to the Kentucky Republican’s website and check out the senator’s prepared remarks for the speech he gave at The Citadel earlier today. Scroll on down, and you’ll count a total of 33 footnotes, citing everything from the military college’s public affairs office to Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural address—and even legislation Paul himself introduced in the Senate. A small sampling:


[5] Weinberger, C. (1984). Uses of Military Power, Retrieved from

[6] Nichols, D. (2011). Eisenhower 1956. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. Page number?

[7] Wali, S. O., & Sami, D. A. (2011). Egyptian police using U.S.-made tear gas against demonstrators. ABC News, Retrieved from


[8] Sharp, Jeremy, “Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations,” See: Table 3: U.S. Foreign Assistance to Egypt, July 19, 2013; Congressional Research Service.

[9] Ibid.

10] A bill to provide limitations on United States assistance, and for other purposes, (S. 3576). 112th Cong. (2012).


Those near-obsessive citations are Paul making good on his somewhat defiant promise to put safeguards in place to ensure that he and his staff no longer pass off other people’s work as his own. “What we are going to do from here forward, if it will make people leave me the hell alone, is we’re going to do them like college papers,” he told the New York Times last week once it became clear that the citation problem first spotted by Rachel Maddow had gone mainstream.

As the tone of that statement implies, Paul was willing to concede that “mistakes” were made, but still largely dismissed the obvious examples of plagiarism as the work of “hacks and haters.” A quick scan of today’s footnotes suggest Paul is again using some sleight of thin-skinned hand to make it look like the problem was simply an issue of a few forgotten citations and not that he (or, more likely, someone on his staff) lifted entire passages penned by someone else without any type of attribution whatsoever, be they parts of Wikipedia’s summary of the (underrated!) movie Gattaca or columns published in national publications like The Week or Fortune.

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