The Trump campaign has faced ridicule this week over Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention because of similar language to Michelle Obama’s address to Democrats in 2008.
But Trump, the wife of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, is just one in a long line of people in the political spotlight accused of delivering a speech that contained copied passages. Both Democrats and Republicans have come under scrutiny.
During the 2008 Democratic primary campaign, Hillary Clinton accused Barack Obama of committing plagiarism in a speech. Obama said he should have credited Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts for a passage, but said Clinton “was carrying it too far,” according to The New York Times. Patrick later defended Obama.
The remarks that came under scrutiny: “Don’t tell me words don’t matter,” Obama said in his remarks, according to The New York Times. “‘I have a dream.’ Just words? ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.’ Just words? ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself.’ Just words? Just speeches?”
In 1987, while running for president, now Vice President Joe Biden was accused of plagiarism of a speech delivered by Neil Kinnock, then the British Labour party leader.
In a commercial featuring his speeches, Kinnock said: “Why am I the first Kinnock in a thousand generations to be able to get to university?” according to The New York Times.
Then he pointed to his wife in the audience and said: “Why is Glenys the first woman in her family in a thousand generations to be able to get to university? Was it because all our predecessors were thick?”
At a debate in Iowa, Biden said: “Why is it that my wife who is sitting out there in the audience is the first in her family to ever go to college? Is it because our fathers and mothers were not bright? Is it because I’m the first Biden in a thousand generations to get a college and a graduate degree that I was smarter than the rest?”
The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd first reported on the Biden speech.
Last year, Dr. Ben Carson apologized for plagiarizing part of his 2012 book, “America the Beautiful,” according to ABC News.
“I attempted to appropriately cite and acknowledge all sources in America the Beautiful, but inadvertently missed some. I apologize, and I am working with my editors to rectify the situation,” Carson said in a statement provided to ABC News.
The Republican senator was accused of several cases of plagiarism in 2013 surrounding his book and speeches.
Among the cases, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow pointed out that a speech he made in 2013 was lifted directly from the Wikipedia page of the film “Gattaca,” according to CNN.
Paul admitted he didn’t attribute information properly but said he was targeted by “a bunch of hacks and haters,” according to CNN.
In 2014, the Army War College rescinded the master’s degree of Sen. John Walsh after determining that he had plagiarized his final paper there in 2007, according to The New York Times.
The Democrat withdrew from the election weeks after The New York Times reported that he had copied large portions of the paper he submitted as a requirement to graduate from the War College.