WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 (UPI) —
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said he would now footnote his writings “like college papers” and said if people were tired of him he would “go back to being a doctor.”
“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,” the Kentucky Republican and possible 2016 White House hopeful told The New York Times after his office announced a more diligent system to attribute material.
“We’re going to try to put out footnotes,” Paul said after a growing number of accusations suggested he used plagiarized material in speeches, an opinion article and a book.
Paul senior adviser Doug Stafford said in a statement footnotes on “collaborative works” would now “be available on request.”
“Ultimately I’m the boss and things go out under my name, and so it is my fault,” Paul told CNN’s “The Situation Room” late Tuesday. “But I will say that people need to also understand that, you know, I never have intentionally ever presented anyone’s ideas as my own.”
He told the Times the criticism was “coming from haters to begin with, because they want the implication to be out there that you’re dishonest.” That sentiment then “bleeds over into regular press,” he said.
The opinion article that included material Paul failed to attribute appeared in The Washington Times Sept. 20. It copied language from an essay published in the magazine The Week Sept. 14.
The newspaper, whose editorial slant is generally conservative, said Tuesday it was canceling Paul’s weekly Friday column by mutual agreement.
“We expect our columnists to submit original work and to properly attribute material, and we appreciate that the senator and his staff have taken responsibility for an oversight in one column,” Washington Times Editor John Solomon said.
“The standard I’m being held to is a little different than everybody else,” Paul told CNN. “They’re now going back and reading every book from cover to cover and looking for places where we footnoted incorrectly and don’t have quotation marks in the right places or we didn’t indent correctly.”
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) of Arizona, the Republican Party’s presidential nominee in 2008 and a critic of Paul for the past six months, said the standard Paul is being held to is the standard of a politician building a national profile.
“I think when you have a high visibility in America politically, you’ve got to understand that you undergo scrutiny that you don’t even as a senator,” McCain told The New York Times.
He said he wouldn’t judge Paul’s political fallout until he knew “how much there is of it.”
Paul told The New York Times this sort of scrutiny is “what people hate about politics, and it’s why, frankly, members of my family are not too interested in politics, period, or wanting me to do more of this.”
“To tell you the truth, people can think what they want,” he continued. “I can go back to being a doctor anytime, if they’re tired of me. I’ll go back to being a doctor, and I’ll be perfectly content.”