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Rand Paul on plagiarism: I've been targeted by 'hacks and haters'

Last week, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow showed how Paul copied a Wikipedia page on the movie “Gattaca.”
Rand Paul
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul listens as Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for Governor of Virginia, speaks at a \"Get out the Vote\" rally October 28, 2013 in Fairfax, Virginia.

If Sen. Rand Paul had it his way, he’d challenge those who are accusing him of plagiarizing to a duel.

The Tea Party lawmaker from Kentucky insisted that he never intentionally stole material and told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” that he has been “unfairly targeted by a bunch of hacks and haters."

Paul has been under increasing scrutiny after MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow showed how he copied a Wikipedia page on the movie “Gattaca.” BuzzFeed also discovered he lifted copy from the Wikipedia entry “Stand and Deliver” for another speech.

While Paul ackowledged that there were times his team was “sloppy or not correct or we’ve made an error,” he said they were all honest mistakes. “I will not lie down and say people can call me dishonest, misleading or misrepresenting," he said, "I have never intentionally done so.”

The potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate said that while he quotes people, he doesn’t cite secondary sources.

“I think the spoken word really shouldn’t be held to the same standard that you have if you’re giving a scientific paper,” he said. “I’ve written scientific papers. I know how to footnote things. But we’ve never footnoted speeches. If that’s the standard I’m going to be held to—yes, we will change. We will footnote things.”

Paul joked he wanted to challenge his critics to a duel.

“If dueling were legal in Kentucky, if they keep it up, you know, it would be a duel challenge,” Paul said. “But I can’t do that, because I can’t hold office in Kentucky then."