Paul: Mistakes due to busy schedule

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Tuesday blamed his busy schedule for the plagiarism controversy that has engulfed him in the past week. But he ruled out firing any staffer over the controversy. 

In an interview with The New York Times, Paul also said he could not guarantee other instances of plagiarism would not surface. He could not say if the charges would affect his decision to potentially run for president in 2016.

ADVERTISEMENT
“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,' ” Paul said. “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.”

Paul's statement came after Buzzfeed on Monday found portions of an op-ed written by Paul in September resembled lines from a report a week earlier in The Week about mandatory minimum drug sentencing. Paul said the op-ed had been partly taken from a speech, which did not go through another round of vetting. 

Buzzfeed and others have found numerous instances in which sections of Paul’s speeches and books resembled word for word other articles without quoting them.

The Kentucky Republican's office announced earlier in the day it would implement a new policy for vetting material written and prepared for the senator. 

Paul’s senior adviser, Doug Stafford, noted "supporting facts and anecdotes" from staffers were not "clearly sourced or vetted properly" while explaining mistakes that appeared in several of the senator's speeches and articles.

“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. We’re going to have them available. If people want to request the footnoted version, we’re going to have it available.”

Paul blamed some of the mistakes on the office’s tight schedule. 

“We need to get stuff earlier, but it’s hard,” Mr. Paul said. “We probably take on more than we should be doing.”