On 'This Week,' Paul responds to critics, including Ted Cruz and 'hacks and haters'

11/03/2013 05:44 PM

Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul on national TV Sunday tried to deflect criticism about plagiarism accusations — new and future — acknowledging occasional sloppiness but denying being dishonest about it.

ABC’s “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos asked Paul about the accusations that he took directly from Wikipedia when describing the plot of the movie “Gattaca.” And Sunday Andrew Kaczynski of Buzzfeed reported that Paul copied without attribution a 1,318-word case study from the Heritage Foundation in his book, Government Bullies. The book included a footnote that referred to the Heritage Foundation’s case study of a 2003 case about illegal wildlife trafficking, but chapter didn’t state that the section was cut and paste from the think tank, as Kaczynski reported.

“In some of the other things that are now going to pop up under thousands of things I’ve written, yeah, there are times when they’ve been sloppy or not correct or I’ve made an error,” Paul told Stephanopoulos. “But I take it as an insult — I will not lie down and say people can call me dishonest, misleading or misrepresenting. I have never intentionally done so.”

He made a joke that he wouldn’t mind challenging his critics to a duel — perhaps most notably MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. And he said he has been “unfairly targeted by a bunch of hacks and haters.”

Paul also said if he is going to be held to a standard of attributing where he found information in his speeches, he will start footnoting them.

Stephanopoulos also asked Paul to respond to Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, whom Stephanopoulos noted has been picking up support in the key early presidential contest of Iowa.

As Jonathan Martin of the New York Times reported Friday, Cruz sought to distance himself from Paul on a fundraising trip to New York:

But when Mr. Cruz went to New York City to meet with donors this summer, he privately offered a different view of Mr. Paul: The Kentucky senator can never be elected president, he told them, because he can never fully detach himself from the strident libertarianism of his father, former Representative Ron Paul of Texas.

Paul, though, declined to bite after Stephanopoulos read him that passage.

“Ted and I are friends. He’s a limited government conservative. We don’t agree on everything. But we agree on a lot of things. So I won’t be coming on television to disparage him whether we’re ever rivals or not,” Paul said.

He said he believes his criticism of the NSA spying programs and his focus on privacy rights ultimately will help him especially among younger voters.

“Young people don’t care so much about taxes and regulation but they’ve all got a cell phone and they’re all on the Internet,” he told Stephanoploulos. “And they do care about their privacy. So do I and I will defend it and I will correct these policies if I’m ever the one to make the decision.”

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