MSNBC Correspondent: Biden Plagiarism Allegations Are 'Embarrassing,' 'Junior Varsity Moment'

June 5, 2019

MSNBC correspondent Garrett Haake on Wednesday took a shot at Joe Biden's campaign after he was accused of plagiarizing his climate plan from multiple sources, saying the move was  "embarrassing" and a "junior varsity moment."

Haake appeared on MSNBC's Meet the Press Daily, where host Chuck Todd asked him if the Biden campaign was being "sloppy" after they lifted language from environmentalist nonprofits without attribution.

"If this were the Eric Swalwell campaign and no offense to Eric Swalwell, this is not, but you would expect him to have a barebones operation, volunteers," Todd said. "Joe Biden has his name on a public policy institute at the University of Pennsylvania ... Why are they cutting and pasting climate change proposals at the last minute?"

"This was obviously a junior varsity moment for this campaign in which should be very much the varsity-level squad. It's embarrassing, but it is a staff-level mistake and I think it's important to keep the context here in mind," Haake said. "We're not talking about 1988 or 1987 technically when words from Bobby Kenendy and others were coming out of Joe Biden's mouth."

He later said Biden's team put together a "robust plan" and then "tripped over themselves in the rollout of it by not having footnotes on it."

"You or I would have failed a college paper because of this and they lost at least a day on it," Haake said. "I don't think there are voters sitting around–there's not a plagiarism caucus out here, people who are going to abandon Joe Biden because of this, but if cheating Joe becomes a Donald Trump Twitter name here over the next couple days, this is the kind of thing that could linger."

This isn't the first time Biden has been accused of plagiarism. During his 1988 presidential bid, he delivered speeches that duplicated remarks that were first made by British Labor Party Leader Neil Kinnock.

Published under: Joe Biden , MSNBC