Joe Biden Accused of Plagiarism… Again!
Joe Biden is facing brand new claims of plagiarism Tuesday after a progressive activist discovered that portions of Biden’s newly released climate platform had been plagiarized. Biden’s first presidential campaign was derailed by accusations of plagiarism, and one might think that on this third try for the highest office in the land that he might try to stick to original ideas instead of copying them from other people and claiming it to be his own.
Apparently not: at least five parts of the platform were flagged by Josh Nelson, the vice president of CREDOmobile, and The Daily Caller.
Fox News reported the following:
Biden's platform said, "Carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS) is a rapidly growing technology that has the potential to create economic benefits for multiple industries while significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions.”
But Nelson pointed out on Twitter that the Blue Green Alliance used that same language in a 2017 letter.
In another example, the campaign’s platform said, “Biden’s goal is to make CCUS a widely available, cost-effective, and rapidly scalable solution to reduce carbon emissions to meet mid-century climate goals.”
Nearly identical language appears on the website of the Carbon Capture Coalition, which said its "goal is to make carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) a widely available, cost-effective, and rapidly scalable solution to reduce carbon emissions to meet mid-century climate goals.”
The Daily Caller also found that Biden’s platform had plagiarized language from other websites. Here are the examples:
Biden: “Aviation accounts for nearly 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and that portion is expected to increase. Unfortunately today, few low-carbon technologies or fuels have been developed to tackle this challenge.”
Vox: “Aviation accounts for about 2 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and that share is poised to grow… few low-carbon technologies or fuels have been developed so far.”
Biden: “The average American sewage pipe is 33 years old, with many pipes dating back 50 or even 100 years.”
American Rivers: “[T]he average American sewage pipe is 33 years old, with many pipes dating back 50 or even 100 years.”
Biden: “40% of the 567 federally recognized tribes in U.S. live in Alaska where the rapid pace of rising temperatures and melting sea ice and glaciers threaten the critical infrastructure and traditional livelihoods in the state.”
Climate.gov: “Of the 567 federally recognized tribes in the United States, 40 percent (229 tribes) live in Alaska Native communities. The rapid pace of rising temperatures, melting sea ice and glaciers, and thawing permafrost in Alaska is having a significant negative impact on critical infrastructure and traditional livelihoods in the state.”
Citing sources in a document is not difficult, and failure to do so can't be written off as careless mistakes. My past two books have 1,193 and 677 endnotes. There's simply no excuse for not giving proper credit.
Since the plagiarism was discovered, attributions were added to the platform. Biden's campaign claims the plagiarism was a mistake, and not intentional. "Several citations were inadvertently left out of the final version of the 22-page document. As soon as we were made aware of it, we updated to include the proper citations," the Biden campaign told Business Insider.
This is Biden's third brush with plagiarism. In addition to the aforementioned plagiarism from his 1988 presidential campaign, Biden was disciplined in law school for plagiarism as well. Were those inadvertent too?
Matt Margolis is the author of The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama and the bestselling The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. His new book, Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama's Legacy, will be published in July 2019. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis