POLITICS
11/05/2013 02:25 pm ET Updated Nov 05, 2013

Rand Paul Adding Footnotes So People 'Leave Me The Hell Alone'

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) gave an interview to The New York Times to announce that he was "restructuring" his office -- but not firing anyone -- after plagiarism allegations that surfaced last week continued to mount on Monday.

"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 said Tuesday. "We’re going to try to put out footnotes. We’re going to have them available. If people want to request the footnoted version, we’re going to have it available."

However, Paul's problems went beyond citing sources. The website BuzzFeed on Monday found that parts of a Paul op-ed in the Washington Times were copied nearly word-for-word from an op-ed written by Dan Stewart of The Week.

Wrote Stewart:

At least 20 states, both red and blue, have reformed their mandatory sentencing laws in some way, and Congress is considering a bipartisan bill that would do the same for federal crimes.

Wrote Paul:

At least 20 states, both red and blue, have reformed their mandatory-sentencing laws in some way, and Congress is considering a bipartisan bill that would do the same for federal crimes.

Wrote Stewart:

He will be 72 by the time he is released, and his three young children will have grown up without him. “Matt,” who turned out to have a long history of drug offenses, was more fortunate -- he received a reduced sentence of just 18 months after informing on Horner, and is now free.

Wrote Paul:

John will be 72 years old by the time he is released, and his three young children will have grown up without him. The informant, who had a long history of drug offenses, was more fortunate -- he received a reduced sentence of just 18 months, and is now free.

Even with a citation, the passage would still constitute plagiarism since Paul used the author's words, instead of paraphrasing them.

In addition to the drug-sentencing op-ed, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow said last week that Paul had borrowed much of a speech supporting Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli from the Wikipedia page for the 1997 film "Gattaca."

When asked about the plagiarism accusations, Paul struck a defiant tone. "And like I say, if, you know, if dueling were legal in Kentucky, if they keep it up, you know, it would be a duel challenge. But I can't do that, because I can't hold office in Kentucky then," he said Sunday on ABC's "This Week." In an interview with the television network Fusion, he blamed "haters" for the accusations.

Paul is mulling a presidential bid for 2016. Plagiarism accusations sank the 1988 presidential campaign of then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.).

UPDATE: 7:57 p.m. -- The Washington Times and Paul have "mutually" agreed to end his weekly column, according to an article published on the newspaper's website Tuesday.

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