AUSTIN, TEXAS—Sen. Barack Obama is asked about the speech passages he lifted from friend Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.
Obama said, “There are two lines in speeches that I've been giving over the last couple of weeks,” which is not quite right. At issue is more than two lines and goes further back than just two weeks.
Obama makes the point that it is hard to steal from a friend who gave something to you.
“I've been campaigning now for the last two years. Deval is a national co-chairman of my campaign, and suggested an argument that I
share, that words are important. Words matter. And the implication that they don't I think diminishes how important it is to speak to the American people directly about making America as good as its promise.Barbara Jordan understood this as well as anybody. And the notion that I had plagiarized from somebody who was one of my national co-chairs who gave me the line and suggested that I use it, I think, is silly, and you know, this is where we start getting into silly season, in politics”
Clinton drew boos when she said, “Well, I think that if your candidacy is going to be about words, then they should be your own words. That's, I think, a very simple proposition. And you know -- you know, lifting whole passages from someone else's speeches is not change you can believe in; it's change you can Xerox.”
Replied Obama, “that's not what happened there.”
Clinton went back at it: “Barack, it is, because if you know, if you look if you look
-- if you look -- if you look at the YouTube of these videos, it does raise questions. "