The Sideshow

Bush speechwriter accuses Obama of plagiarism in State of the Union

A former speechwriter for President George W. Bush accused President Barack Obama of plagiarizing one of Bush's speeches for the Tuesday evening State of the Union address.

Marc Thiessen, who served as Bush's lead speechwriter for his 2007 State of the Union speech, told Megyn Kelly of Fox News, "Barack Obama has gone from blaming George W. Bush to plagiarizing George W. Bush."

Politco reports:

Thiessen then read phrases from the 2007 speech which focused on the theme "hope and opportunity." "It was eerily familiar. There were lines like 'Our job is to help Americans build a future of hope and opportunity, a future of hope and opportunity begins with a growing economy, a future of hope and opportunity requires that all citizens have affordable and available health care, extending opportunity and hope depends on a stable supply of energy,' all of that came from the 2007 State of the Union from George W. Bush," Thiessen said.

Poliico writes that none of Obama's lines "were directly lifted" from Bush's 2007 address, though in both speeches the presidents repeatedly used versions of the word "opportunity" and both concluded with stories about veterans who had been wounded in combat.

A transcript of Obama's speech is available here.  Bush's 2007 speech can be read here.

This isn't the first time Obama has been accused of plagiarism in a State of the Union address. In 2011, Alvin Felzenberg, presidential scholar and former spokesman for the 9/11 Commission, wrote an op-ed for U.S. News and World Report stating the Obama's speech "contained enough recycled ideas and lines lifted from speeches of others to make historians wince."

However, President Bush was not immune to similar accusations. In 2010, a Huffington Post reporter accused Bush of lifting passages of his memoir from the books of his advisers.

Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter (@mikekrumboltz).

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