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WashPost Knocks Rand Paul for Twice Claiming a Biology Degree

Image: WashPost Knocks Rand Paul for Twice Claiming a Biology Degree
(John Sommers II/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Friday, 13 Feb 2015 07:33 AM

For claiming twice in one day that he had a biology degree, which he does not, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul received "three Pinocchios" from The Washington Post's Fact Checker column.

Paul, during a Thursday conference in Washington of the conservative technology group Lincoln Labs, mentioned that he had a biology degree during a discussion about his opinion of the digital currency Bitcoin, Bloomberg reported.

According to the Post, it was the second time that day Paul peppered his biology degree into the conversation, the first earlier in the same discussion with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington.

Arrington said he had an economics degree, to which Paul replied that his degree was in biology and English.

"This is a bit of an odd one, given that Paul does not have a college undergraduate degree," writes Fact Checker columnist Glenn Kessler, who says Paul’s staff has previously fingered the media for "misunderstanding [Paul’s] confusing background."

The tea party star attended Baylor University between 1981 and 1984, but left without a degree.

The reason, according to GQ, is Paul had taken the MCAT and scored high enough to get into Duke University Medical School, where he earned his medical degree in ophthalmology in 1988.

"In the jocular bantering with the host, Dr. Rand Paul mentioned 'degree,' but anyone who has read Dr. Paul’s official biography on his website can see that he was accepted early into one of the most prestigious medical schools in the country — Duke University School of Medicine," Paul’s senior communications director told the Post.

"Dr. Paul finished the requirements for medical school in 2 1/2 years. While in college, Dr. Paul did study biology and English. He has no college degree and has a medical degree."

Kessler writes that Fact Checker would have been more inclined to "brush this off" had Paul not made the claim twice, and if Paul’s staffers had not blamed the mistake on media misreporting.

"There’s no excuse for resume-inflation, even when it’s jocular," according to Kessler. "We can’t quite say this is worthy of Four Pinocchios, but the senator should be more careful in the future."

On the Post’s one-to-four Pinocchio scale, three Pinocchios is given for "significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions."

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For claiming twice in one day that he had a biology degree, which he does not, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul received "three Pinocchios" from the Washington Post's Fact Checker column.
rand paul, biology, degree, medical school
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2015-33-13
Friday, 13 Feb 2015 07:33 AM
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