Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Obama Campaign Denies Candidate Plagiarized Cartoon, Says it Was an Honest Mistake

Excerpted from the Boston Globe:

Campaigning in Terre Haute, Ind. on Saturday, Barack Obama, mocking claims by John McCain and Sarah Palin that they will challenge their Republican Party if elected, got off a pretty good line. "Maybe what they're saying is, 'Watch out George Bush,'" Obama said with sarcasm... "Except for economic policies, and tax policies, and energy policies, and health care policies, and education policies, and Karl Rove-style politics -- except for all that, we're really going to bring change to Washington! We’re really going to shake things up!"

It wasn't Obama's line, though. It came from Washington Post cartoonist Tom Toles, whose cartoon Friday featured these words along with a drawing of McCain and Sarah Palin in front of the White House: "Watch out, Mr. Bush! With the exception of economic policy and energy policy and social issues and tax policy and foreign policy and Supreme Court appointments and Rove-style politics, we're coming in there to shake things up!" (See the cartoon here.)

Asked about the borrowing, Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Obama used Toles's lines unwittingly, after being alerted to them by a friend who didn't mention the source.

"This came to Senator Obama from a friend who didn't indicate where he had gotten it from, but the questions it raises certainly continue to ring true," Psaki said in an email. "He did not know it was from a cartoon and now that he does he will certainly credit the cartoonist."....

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