Cable News Smackdown: The Battle Between Rand Paul and Rachel Maddow Heats Up

After their initial dust up in 2010, Rand Paul and Rachel Maddow are trading blows once again, this time over the Senator's alleged plagiarism

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May 19, 2010 is a red-letter date in cable news history. That was when Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, then a candidate, appeared on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC news show, sparking a very public feud that continues to this date. At first, it was about whether Paul, now a senator, had objectionable racial attitudes, but now it has morphed into accusations that Paul has plagiarized some writings by others, a charge he has now admitted. Here are some highlights (or low lights, depending on your political views) of Paul and Maddow’s rocky relationship:

MAY 19, 2010

“There’s 10 different titles, you know, to the Civil Rights Act, and nine out of 10 deal with public institutions, and I’m absolutely in favor of. One deals with private institutions. And had I been around, I would have tried to modify that.” —Rand Paul on The Rachel Maddow Show

“There’s nothing under your world view to stop the country from resegregating like we were before the Civil Rights Act in 1964, which you’re saying you’ve got some issues with.” —Rachel Maddow

“I think you’re an intelligent person. I like being on your show. But I think that — what is the totality of what I’m saying? Am I a bad person? Do I believe in awful things? No, I really think that discrimination and racism is a horrible thing and I don’t want any form of it in our government, in our public sphere.” —Rand Paul on The Rachel Maddow Show

MAY 20, 2010

“It was a poor political decision [to go on The Rachel Maddow Show], probably won’t be happening anytime in the near future — seem to have unleashed some of the loony left on me.” —Rand Paul on “Laura Ingraham Show”

MAY 21, 2010

“I’ve been trashed up and down one network that seems to side with the Democrats. For an entire 24 hours, I’ve suffered from them saying, oh, he wants to repeal the Civil Rights Act. But that’s never been my position. So, really, this is a lot about politics.” —Rand Paul on Good Morning America

MAY 24, 2010

“I understand the political desire to blame the questioner and not the answerer when the answers prove upsetting, but if you’re going to try to make me the story, if you’re more interested in talking about me rather than your own candidate, then maybe you should be willing to talk to me yourself instead of just talking about me.” —Rachel Maddow

JUNE 7, 2010

“I think it’s been really a concerted effort by people who want to damage the Tea Party, people who want to make the Tea Party something it`s not, people who want to characterize me as someone who I`m not. —Rand Paul on Your World w/ Neil Cavuto, Fox News

JUNE 10, 2010

“I was on sort of a left-leaning network that started this going. And they said, all day long I was for repealing it, based on the words of my Democrat opponent but not based on my words. And that’s how it all got started. But I’ve never been for it. It’s never been my position. And I don’t know what else to say.” —Rand Paul on The Sean Hannity Show, Fox News

OCTOBER 29, 2013

“Rand Paul may not want to answer to me, or this show or this network, about this, but he is going to have to answer for this to his hometown press or to somebody. He may not want to answer for it, but he’s going to have to. This is getting worse by the day. We’ll keep you posted on what else we find and whether or not we hear from him.” —Rachel Maddow

OCTOBER 30, 2013

“The person who is leading this attack, she’s been spreading hate on me for about three years now. I don’t intend for it to go away, but also I don’t see her as an objective news source.” —Rand Paul on America with Jorge Ramos, Fusion TV

NOVEMBER 1, 2013

“It’s not the worst thing to be accused of. You cheated, you stole stuff from Wikipedia, high school students have done it and go to detention. There’s no detention for Senators. So, instead you go, oh, shucks, I’m sorry, I screwed up, and it won’t happen again. Blame an intern, dude … this is not just a Wikipedia thing. Rand Paul seems to have a penchant for plagiarizing from all sorts of different places.” —Rachel Maddow

NOVEMBER 3, 2013

“If dueling were legal in Kentucky, if they keep it up, you know, it’d be a duel challenge. But I can’t do that, because I can’t hold office in Kentucky then … I think I’m being unfairly targeted by a bunch of hacks and haters. And I’m just not gonna put up with people casting aspersions on my character.” —Rand Paul on ABC News

NOVEMBER 6, 2013

“Rand Paul is all but breaking down in these interviews about these ongoing plagiarism revelations. Not only can he not handle rigors of the difficult workload of being a freshman senator, which was his excuse for plagiarizing an article for an op-ed, not only cannot handle the workload of being a senator, he apparently can’t handle criticism of thing he has done wrong.” —Rachel Maddow

NOVEMBER 6, 2013

”It’s also what people hate about politics, and it’s why, frankly, members of my family are not too interested in politics, period, or wanting me to do more of this,” he said. ”To tell you the truth, people can think what they want, I can go back to being a doctor anytime, if they’re tired of me. I’ll go back to being a doctor, and I’ll be perfectly content.” —Rand Paul in the New York Times