Plagiarism charges hit Joe Biden, campaign blames error

2019-06-06 07:10
Joe Biden speaks at the Biden Courage Awards in New York. (Frank Franklin II, AP)

Joe Biden speaks at the Biden Courage Awards in New York. (Frank Franklin II, AP)

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With several 2020 presidential hopefuls unveiling their climate plans this week, Democrat Joe Biden released his own ambitious proposal, but it made headlines for the wrong reasons.

The former vice president's $1.7 trillion plan, which seeks net-zero emissions by 2050, quickly faced criticism for including unattributed passages lifted from other organisations' previously published documents, drawing fire from President Donald Trump.

Biden's campaign called the incident an error that was swiftly corrected.

"Several citations were inadvertently left out of the final version of the 22-page document," Biden's campaign said in response to the accusations.

"As soon as we were made aware of it, we updated to include the proper citations."

Biden, who holds a commanding lead in the crowded 2020 Democratic field, is no stranger to plagiarism accusations.

The latest incident recalled his unattributed use of passages from a speech by British politician Neil Kinnock that helped drive Biden from the Democratic nomination race in 1988.

Intense battles 

Josh Nelson, vice president of progressive group CREDO, first flagged the resemblances on Twitter.

But Trump quickly pounced, tweeting on Wednesday that the "plagiarism charge against Sleepy Joe Biden on his ridiculous Climate Change Plan is a big problem."

Nelson pointed to a paragraph from Biden's climate plan about technical processes for capturing and storing carbon that is virtually identical to phrasing in literature published previously by the Blue Green Alliance and the Carbon Capture Coalition.

The latest online version of Biden's plan includes attributions and sourcing that were previously left out.

With intense battles brewing between the 23 Democrats in the race, candidates have been rolling out policy platforms in an effort to stand out early in a crowded field.

Candidate Jay Inslee, Washington state's governor, unveiled an ambitious plan that seeks 50 percent reductions in US emissions by 2030, two decades sooner than Biden's.

The plan earned high praise from influential first-term congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who called it the "gold standard."

Read more on:    joe biden  |  us  |  us 2020 elections
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