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Exclusive: Rand Paul Responds to Accusations of Plagiarism With Impassioned Speech

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Last night in Lexington, Kentucky, Rand Paul addressed a crowd of supporters and spoke forcefully about the accusations of plagiarism being leveled at him. Here is the full text of his speech.

Hello, my friends, hello.

They say when trouble comes close ranks, and so we do.

You all know me. You know what I do for a living. I'm a member of the Republican Party, and the son of former U.S. Representative and presidential candidate Ron Paul of Texas. I first received national attention in 2008 when making political speeches on behalf of my father, who was campaigning for the Republican Party's nomination for president. I am the first United States senator to have served simultaneously with a parent in the United States House of Representatives. I am the walrus. I am the one who knocks. I'm not going to be ignored.

It's very painful to have something that's not true written about you. Always the innocent are the first victims, so it has been for ages past, so it is now.

Now, I am sick of these harmless lies and little white lies. You know, you can call a shovel an ice-cream machine, but it's still a shovel. And you can call a lie whatever you want, but it's still a no-good stinkin' lie. Plagiarism is the wrongful appropriation and purloining and publication of another author's language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions, and the representation of them as one's own original work. Plagiarism is considered academic dishonesty and a breach of journalistic ethics. It is subject to sanctions like expulsion. Plagiarism is not a crime, per se, but in academia and industry it is a serious ethical offense, and cases of plagiarism can constitute copyright infringement.

Using a big word like 'plagiarism' always causes some damage. It will always do lasting damage, like accusations of racism. It's not right -- but it's okay. All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish. They will turn back and suddenly be put to shame. They're talking about things of which they don't have the slightest understanding, anyway. It's only because of their stupidity that they're able to be so sure of themselves.

They sentence the accused here before you, to hang by the neck until dead, may God have mercy on his soul. But not me -- I'm not gonna take this. Nothing is over until we decide it is. Failure is not an option. We will not go quietly into the night. We will not vanish without a fight. I won't back down. No, I won't back down. I'll stand my ground. I believe in America. America has made my fortune. I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. Pain's not bad, it's good. It teaches you things. I understand that.

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. We run things -- things don't run we. We don't take nothing from nobody. We try harder.

The world is full of complainers. And the fact is, nothing comes with a guarantee. I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it. We know things are bad -- worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out anymore.

But I'll stand by you. Won't let nobody hurt you. I'll be there. I'm your man. If you want a boxer I will step into the ring for you.

There is no way I can erase what has happened. Even though the accusations may be unfair and untrue, the situation is real. I need to deal with it in the here and now. I'm taking my power back. They're wrong and I can look myself in the mirror knowing the truth.

Look into your heart. In your heart you know I'm right.

That's all, folks.

Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow.

Cross-Posted at The Daily Banter