Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton is plagiarizing exact talking points from fellow Democratic politicians in her 2016 campaign stump speeches.
Though Clinton previously attacked her political rival Barack Obama for “lifting whole passages from someone else’s speeches,” her own words on the trail reveal a propensity for borrowing from others.
Clinton’s poaching of choice lines from other Democrats was exposed, to the careful observer, at her “Women For Hillary” event at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Washington, D.C. Introduced by thirteen female Democratic senators, Clinton ended up delivering the same punchlines that her opening acts had already trotted out.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, speaking before Clinton at the event, quoted the candidate from the previous night’s Jefferson Jackson dinner in New Hampshire. “I am here to tell you that Hillary rocked the house last night,” Shaheen said. “My favorite line was when Hillary said, ‘I’m not running to make a point, I’m running to make a difference,'” Shaheen quoted Clinton as saying.
Shaheen seemed unaware that just minutes earlier, Sen. Mazie Hirono attributed that same exact talking point to Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who won a Senate seat in Wisconsin in 2012.
“Tammy is the first openly gay person to be elected to the United States Senate,” Hirono said. “And when she was asked about this historic first, Tammy said, ‘I’m not running to make history. I’m running to make a difference.'”
The similarity between Clinton’s line and Baldwin’s is striking.
“Some candidates may be running to make a point. I am running to make a difference,” Clinton was quoted as saying at the Jefferson Jackson dinner, which could be interpreted as a rebuke to her rival Bernie Sanders.
In her November 2012 Wisconsin victory speech, Baldwin said proudly that she was about to become the first openly gay U.S. senator.
“But I didn’t run to make history. I ran to make a difference,” Baldwin said to a big ovation.
WATCH AT THE 6:30 MARK IN THIS VIDEO
That wasn’t the only Clinton talking point that raised eyebrows.
“But you know what the Republicans say when they’re asked about climate change. They say, ‘Well, I’m not a scientist.’ My response is, go talk to one,” Clinton said (1:00:00 Mark In This Video). “There are lots of them around. We know some, don’t we? We could introduce you.”
Though some people in the audience chuckled, the laughter was muted by the realization on the part of progressive attendees that Clinton was borrowing the line.
California Sen. Barbara Boxer used the same exact line, almost verbatim, just minutes earlier.
“They say they are not scientists. Well, that is a fact in evidence. That’s why they should listen to the scientists,” Boxer said. (33:00 Mark In This Video).
Clinton also used the line in her campaign launch speech on New York’s Roosevelt Island in June, months after another Democratic politician named Barack Obama had started using it.
“Ask many of these candidates about climate change, one of the defining threats of our time, and they’ll say, ‘I’m… not a scientist,'” Clinton said. “Well then why don’t they start listening to those who are?”
Clinton also used a version of the line in a July campaign speech.
“Republicans on the other side, when you ask them about climate change, they all say, ‘Well, I’m not a scientist.’ Well, I’m not a scientist either, I’m just a grandmother with two eyes and a brain and I know this is an issue we have to address,” Clinton said.
“Now, I know there are still people who would rather not hear this. Some deny climate change exists at all. Others throw up their hands and say, ‘Sorry, I’m not a scientist,'” Clinton said in another July speech in Iowa. “Well, I’m not a scientist either. That’s why I think it’s important to listen to scientists. It’s important to heed the warnings based on extensive scientific research to see what’s going on here in our own country and certainly around the world.”
Clinton also released a parody campaign video making fun of Republican “(Not A) Mad Scientists.”
The line can be traced, in a slightly altered form, to President Obama’s January 2015 State of the Union address, where he attacked Republicans on climate change.
“I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists – that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what? I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities,” Obama said in the address.
“I’m not a scientist either, but I’ve got this guy John Holder, he’s a scientist. I’ve got a bunch of scientists at NASA. I’ve got a bunch of scientists at EPA. I’m not a doctor, either, but if a bunch of doctors tell me that tobacco can cause lung cancer, then I’ll say, okay,” Obama said in another June 2014 speech.
Progressive late-night comedian Stephen Colbert extensively mocked Republicans after the November 2014 midterms, showing clips of Republicans saying “I’m not a scientist.”
The Republican National Committee (RNC), presented with the evidence of Clinton’s cribbing from others, recognized the dishonesty on display.
“It’s clear the Democrat talking points are as authentic and dishonest as Hillary Clinton’s campaign,” RNC spokesman James Hewitt told Breitbart News.
Ironically, Clinton accused then-Senator Barack Obama of plagiarism when she ran against him in the 2008 Democratic primary, after Obama used a line cooked up by his supporter Gov. Deval Patrick. Obama claimed that Patrick “gave me the line.”
Vice President Joe Biden was famously knocked out of the 1988 Democratic presidential race when it was revealed that he borrowed lines from other public figures including Bobby Kennedy and British politician Neil Kinnock.
The Clinton campaign did not return a request for comment for this report. The Senate offices of Sens. Boxer, Hirono, Baldwin, and Shaheen also did not return requests for comment.