NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — For days now, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has sought to dismiss criticism over similarities between his speeches and entries in Wikipedia. He is accusing "footnote police" and "hacks and haters" for unfairly criticizing him.
There are reasons he's been speaking out: in the long run, allegations of plagiarism could be used against him in a presidential campaign. And, in the short term, assailing his critics could fire up his loyal backers — and donors.
It all began last week when MSNBC host Rachel Maddow suggested that the senator lifted passages about the 1997 science fiction film "Gattaca" from the movie's Wikipedia entry in a recent appearance in Virginia.