After providing lengthy answers to a questionnaire circulated by conservatives seeking a challenger to Sen. Lamar Alexander in August, state Rep. Joe Carr was found to have lifted several of his answers from the Heritage Foundation, sometimes cutting and pasting directly.
Carr, who is Alexander's only declared challenger in next year's GOP primary, was revealed by the Nashville Post to have provided answers that matched exact wording of Heritage essays, reports and blog posts.
But in a letter to members of the conservative and tea party coalition trying to unseat Alexander, the candidate dismissed accusations of plagiarism and defended his pulling "from several sources" to develop responses.
"My answers absolutely reflect my worldview, and I stand by them," Carr wrote. "In developing my answers in the fairly tight timeframe the coalition requested to get a clear idea of my view of the world, I pulled from several sources. It was my understanding that a questionnaire of this sort is not subject to the same standards of sourcing that apply to journalism as, say, would be proper for an article submitted to The Wall Street Journal."
Carr added that according to his understanding, answers for the survey were confidential and intended for vetting purposes, rather than public distribution. For that reason, he said the questionnaire was "not subject to the same standards as an academic paper submitted to a journal."
"I did not make the claim in my answers that the ideas and thoughts I shared were exclusively mine or that they originated with me. I simply communicated that they accurately reflected my worldview," he wrote.
The GOP Senate primary is Aug. 7, 2014.
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