Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), facing multiple allegations of plagiarism, told the New York Times in an interview Tuesday that his demanding schedule is partially to blame for him signing off on poorly vetted or sourced speeches and op-eds.
“We need to get stuff earlier, but it’s hard,” Paul told the Times. “We probably take on more than we should be doing.”
“Things are done quickly and in a hurry, and sometimes I get some things sent to me while giving a speech — I’m looking down at my phone saying ‘read this for approval in 20 minutes,’” he added. “We write something every week for The Washington Times, and I literally am riding around in a car in between things trying to figure out if I can approve it.”
Senior advisor Doug Stafford released a statement earlier Tuesday that ensured Paul’s office would put in place a system in which footnotes would be made available upon request. The office restructuring was prompted by a report indicating Paul lifted a Washington Times op-ed nearly verbatim from an article published in The Week. The senator previously accused of using material from Wikipedia, among other sources, without attribution.
“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,” Paul told the Times. “We’re going to try to put out footnotes.”
The Kentucky Republican’s contrition is a reversal from his response to the allegations over the weekend, when he told ABC News he was “being unfairly targeted by a bunch of hacks and haters.”
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.