Paul's stance on the subject has shifted with each revelation, first reported by MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and BuzzFeed. The senator initially struck a defiant tone, wishing he could duel with the "hacks and haters" calling him out for plagiarism. He later admitted that his staff, under a heavy workload, could have been more careful, and that "ultimately," it was his "fault." But on Wednesday, Paul lashed out at his critics once more.
"I'm being criticized for not having proper attribution, and yet they are able to write stuff that if I were their journalism teacher in college, I would fail them," Paul told National Review's Robert Costa.
Darden was not moved by that assessment.
"It appears that the Senator from Kentucky is choosing to attack the messenger rather than specifically address what appears to be an unambiguous case of plagiarism," he said in an email. "Had one of my Journalism students made the same mistakes, I would fail them for each individual assignment and refer the case to the appropriate university office that deals with honor code violations."
The Washington Times and Paul on Tuesday "mutually" agreed to end his weekly column after he failed to properly cite material and appeared to lift entire sentences from an article written by The Week's Dan Stewart.
Stewart wrote Wednesday that he felt "flattered" by Paul lifting from his work.
"I suppose I ought to feel angry," he said. "My work was stolen by an elected official and putative presidential candidate with a far higher profile than me, who passed it off as his own instead of acknowledging its lowly creator. But I don't. In fact, I'm not all that bothered by Sen. Paul's use of my article. Worse things have happened."