In acceptance speech, Ahn borrowed words from Barack Obama

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In acceptance speech, Ahn borrowed words from Barack Obama


Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo delivers his acceptance speech at Chungmu Gymnasium in Daejeon on Tuesday after winning the People’s Party’s nomination for the May 9 presidential election. [YONHAP]

In his acceptance speech for the People’s Party presidential nomination Tuesday, Rep. Ahn Cheol-soo spoke of political principles in words that were almost identical to those of Barack Obama at the Democratic Convention in 2004.

“There’s not a liberal Korea and a conservative Korea; there’s Korea of the people,” proclaimed Ahn upon winning the nomination in his second bid for president. “There’s not a young-men Korea and an old-men Korea; there’s Korea of the people. There’s not a male-dominated Korea and female-dominated Korea; there’s Korea of the people.”

Ahn’s message echoed Obama’s landmark address at the Democratic National Convention in Boston in 2004 at which John Kerry was named the party nominee for the presidential election in November that year. Standing on the podium, the-little known Senate candidate for Illinois with the exotic name delivered a powerful speech that garnered a national fame that allowed his bid for president four years later.

“There's not a liberal America and a conservative America; there's the United States of America,” Obama said. “There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America.”

Park Sang-hoon, director of the Political Power Plant think tank and an expert in American politics, told the Korea JoongAng Daily that Ahn’s message in the speech “was straight from Obama’s 2004 speech,” though it “would be difficult” to prove plagiarism.

“Ahn clearly borrowed his words from Obama,” said the author of a number of books including “Discovery of Political Parties.”

“But just because Ahn didn’t cite Obama’s work in his speech, it does not automatically lead to the conclusion that he committed plagiarism,” said Park. He noted that Obama’s 2004 speech was in part influenced by former President Lyndon Johnson’s landmark “The American Promise” speech delivered in 1965. In his 1965 address to a joint session of Congress, Johnson famously said, “There is no Negro problem. There is no southern problem. There is no northern problem. There is only an American problem.”

But Park pointed out that in American political tradition, it is customary for politicians to issue briefs after giving speeches with footnotes citing works of other statesmen that they cited in their speeches.

“For instance, footnotes on Obama’s speeches would clarify from where Obama gained his ideas in the writing of his speech drafts. One footnote specified it was from a book that he checked out of the Columbia University Library. Another footnote stated it was from his lectures at the University of Chicago, where he taught the American Constitution. Obama and his campaign always clarified where his speech contents came from,” said the director.

Ahn did not acknowledge his use of Obama’s lines during in the speech or afterwards.

When asked about the issue by the Korea JoongAng Daily, Ahn’s campaign spokesperson Nemo Kim said the lines in Tuesday’s speech were “far from plagiarism.”

“The structure and contents [in Ahn’s speech] are totally different from Obama’s. It is hard to compare the two,” said Kim.
She admitted Obama is one of Ahn’s favorite politicians.

In what could have been the Ahn camp’s attempt to avoid questions about alleged plagiarism in his acceptance speech, the official English translation released by his camp Tuesday omitted many parts of the section that echoed Obama’s 2004 speech.

The translated English version merely states with some grammar errors: “This country doesn't belong to progressives nor conservatives. It belongs to the people.”

The Ahn camp denied it deliberately attempted to omit the parts that allegedly lifted lines from the Obama speech 13 years ago. The spokesperson told the Korea JoongAng Daily that a staff member who was at the Daejeon primary on Tuesday was translating Ahn’s speech real-time on site “in noisy surroundings” to help reporters who didn’t make it to Daejeon. Spokesperson Kim continued there are many other parts in the translated version that omitted parts of the original text, not just the one sounding identical to the 2004 DNC keynote address.

American political figures have had similar plagiarism problems. At the height of the presidential race last year, Melania Trump was hammered for a speech delivered at the Republican National Convention that lifted lines from Michelle Obama’s speech at the 2008 Democratic convention.

In her speech, Mrs. Trump said, “We want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

Michelle Obama’s speech in 2008 had this line: "We want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them."

Darren Yakey, assistant professor of English at Gachon University, says Ahn should have at least acknowledged he borrowed a construction from the former U.S. president.

"Paraphrasing is one thing but proper accreditation is important. He needs to acknowledge these are not his own words,” said the Canadian professor. “As referenced in CBS reporter Emily Shulters' article ‘After Melania Trump's speech, a brief history of political plagiarism,’ politicians have been forced to withdraw from races or been called out on political plagiarism.”

In the 2012 presidential election campaign, candidate Ahn was accused of plagiarism in a doctoral thesis submitted in 1991 by the then-ruling Saenuri Party. Among the charges was that he used parts of others’ work without proper attribution to earn a doctoral degree in medicine at Seoul National University (SNU).

An SNU special panel cleared Ahn of any wrongdoing, saying Boltzmann’s equation, which he cited in his paper, “has been universally used for academic papers without attribution.”


Transcript of a keynote speech delivered by then-Senate candidate for Illinois Barack Obama at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston

Thank you so much. Thank you.

Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you so much.

Thank you, Dick Durbin. You make us all proud.

On behalf of the great state of Illinois... ... crossroads of a nation, land of Lincoln, let me express my deep gratitude for the privilege of addressing this convention. Tonight is a particular honor for me because, let's face it, my presence on this stage is pretty unlikely.

My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya. He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin- roof shack. His father, my grandfather, was a cook, a domestic servant to the British.

But my grandfather had larger dreams for his son. Through hard work and perseverance my father got a scholarship to study in a magical place, America, that's shown as a beacon of freedom and opportunity to so many who had come before him.

While studying here my father met my mother. She was born in a town on the other side of the world, in Kansas.

Her father worked on oil rigs and farms through most of the Depression. The day after Pearl Harbor, my grandfather signed up for duty, joined Patton's army, marched across Europe. Back home my grandmother raised a baby and went to work on a bomber assembly line. After the war, they studied on the GI Bill, bought a house through FHA and later moved west, all the way to Hawaii, in search of opportunity.

And they too had big dreams for their daughter, a common dream born of two continents.

My parents shared not only an improbable love; they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or "blessed," believing that in a tolerant America, your name is no barrier to success.

They imagined me going to the best schools in the land, even though they weren't rich, because in a generous America you don't have to be rich to achieve your potential.

They're both passed away now. And yet I know that, on this night, they look down on me with great pride.

And I stand here today grateful for the diversity of my heritage, aware that my parents' dreams live on in my two precious daughters.

I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story, that I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible.

Tonight, we gather to affirm the greatness of our nation not because of the height of our skyscrapers, or the power of our military, or the size of our economy; our pride is based on a very simple premise, summed up in a declaration made over two hundred years ago: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal... that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

That is the true genius of America, a faith... ... a faith in simple dreams, an insistence on small miracles; that we can tuck in our children at night and know that they are fed and clothed and safe from harm; that we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door; that we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe; that we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution; and that our votes will be counted -- or at least, most of the time.

This year, in this election, we are called to reaffirm our values and our commitments, to hold them against a hard reality and see how we are measuring up, to the legacy of our forbearers and the promise of future generations.

And fellow Americans, Democrats, Republicans, independents, I say to you, tonight, we have more work to do...

... more work to do, for the workers I met in Galesburg, Illinois, who are losing their union jobs at the Maytag plant that's moving to Mexico, and now they're having to compete with their own children for jobs that pay 7 bucks an hour; more to do for the father I met who was losing his job and chocking back the tears wondering how he would pay $4,500 a months for the drugs his son needs without the health benefits that he counted on; more to do for the young woman in East St. Louis, and thousands more like her who have the grades, have the drive, have the will, but doesn't have the money to go to college.

Now, don't get me wrong, the people I meet in small towns and big cities and diners and office parks, they don't expect government to solves all of their problems. They know they have to work hard to get a head. And they want to.

Go into the collar counties around Chicago, and people will tell you: They don't want their tax money wasted by a welfare agency or by the Pentagon.

Go into any inner-city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone can't teach kids to learn.

They know that parents have to teach, that children can't achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white. They know those things.

People don't expect -- people don't expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a slight change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all. They know we can do better. And they want that choice.

In this election, we offer that choice. Our party has chosen a man to lead us who embodies the best this country has to offer. And that man is John Kerry.

John Kerry understands the ideals of community, faith and service because they've defined his life. From his heroic service to Vietnam to his years as prosecutor and lieutenant governor, through two decades in the United States Senate, he has devoted himself to this country. Again and again, we've seen him make tough choices when easier ones were available. His values and his record affirm what is best in us.

John Kerry believes in an America where hard work is rewarded. So instead of offering tax breaks to companies shipping jobs overseas, he offers them to companies creating jobs here at home.

John Kerry believes in an America where all Americans can afford the same health coverage our politicians in Washington have for themselves.

John Kerry believes in energy independence, so we aren't held hostage to the profits of oil companies or the sabotage of foreign oil fields.

John Kerry believes in the constitutional freedoms that have made our country the envy of the world, and he will never sacrifice our basic liberties nor use faith as a wedge to divide us.

And John Kerry believes that in a dangerous world, war must be an option sometimes, but it should never be the first option.

You know, a while back, I met a young man named Seamus (ph) in a VFW hall in East Moline, Illinois. He was a good-looking kid, 6'2", 6'3", clear eyed, with an easy smile. He told me he'd joined the Marines and was heading to Iraq the following week.

And as I listened to him explain why he had enlisted -- the absolute faith he had in our country and its leaders, his devotion to duty and service -- I thought, this young man was all that any of us might ever hope for in a child. But then I asked myself: Are we serving Seamus (ph) as well as he's serving us?

I thought of the 900 men and women, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors who won't be returning to their own hometowns. I thought of the families I had met who were struggling to get by without a loved one's full income or whose loved ones had returned with a limb missing or nerves shattered, but still lacked long-term health benefits because they were Reservists.

When we send our young men and women into harm's way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they are going, to care for their families while they're gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return and to never, ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace and earn the respect of the world.

Now, let me be clear. Let me be clear. We have real enemies in the world. These enemies must be found. They must be pursued. And they must be defeated.

John Kerry knows this. And just as Lieutenant Kerry did not hesitate to risk his life to protect the men who served with him in Vietnam, President Kerry will not hesitate one moment to use our military might to keep America safe and secure.

John Kerry believes in America. And he knows that it's not enough for just some of us to prosper. For alongside our famous individualism, there's another ingredient in the American saga, a belief that we are all connected as one people.

If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child.

If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for their prescription and having to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandparent.

If there's an Arab-American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.

It is that fundamental belief -- it is that fundamental belief -- I am my brother's keeper, I am my sisters' keeper -- that makes this country work.

It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family: "E pluribus unum," out of many, one.

Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes.

Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America; there's the United States of America.

There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America.

The pundits, the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states.

We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we've got some gay friends in the red states.

There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.

We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

In the end, that's what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism, or do we participate in a politics of hope?

John Kerry calls on us to hope. John Edwards calls on us to hope. I'm not talking about blind optimism here, the almost willful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if we just don't think about it, or health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it.

That's not what I'm talking. I'm talking about something more substantial. It's the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a millworker's son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too.

Hope in the face of difficulty, hope in the face of uncertainty, the audacity of hope: In the end, that is God's greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation, a belief in things not seen, a belief that there are better days ahead.

I believe that we can give our middle class relief and provide working families with a road to opportunity.

I believe we can provide jobs for the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across America from violence and despair.

I believe that we have a righteous wind at our backs, and that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices and meet the challenges that face us.

America, tonight, if you feel the same energy that I do, if you feel the same urgency that I do, if you feel the same passion that I do, if you feel the same hopefulness that I do, if we do what we must do, then I have no doubt that all across the country, from Florida to Oregon, from Washington to Maine, the people will rise up in November, and John Kerry will be sworn in as president. And John Edwards will be sworn in as vice president. And this country will reclaim it's promise. And out of this long political darkness a brighter day will come.

Thank you very much, everybody.

God bless you.

Thank you.

국민의당 제19대 대통령선거 후보 수락 연설


존경하는 국민 여러분!

사랑하는 당원 동지 여러분!


정말 고맙습니다.

변화와 개혁을 바라는, 정말 많은 국민들께서

경선에 참여해 주셨습니다.


대선승리를 바라는 당원동지 여러분께서

또 한 번 기적 만들었습니다.


정당사상 처음인 완전 국민경선제를 대박으로 이끌어주신

박지원 대표님, 주승용 원내대표님, 장병완 선대위원장님


촉박한 일정 속에서도 아무 사고 없이

경선을 관리해주신 당 관계자 여러분,


보이지 않는 곳에서

한결 같이 저를 응원해 준, 제 아내 김미경 교수에게도

고맙다는 말 전합니다.

아름다운 경선으로 우리 모두를 빛내주신

존경하는 손학규 후보님, 박주선 후보님께

아주 특별한 감사의 말씀 올립니다.

손학규 후보께서 주장하신 완전국민경선 현장투표가

국민의당을 더욱 자랑스럽게 만들었습니다.

박주선 후보가 계셨기에 호남을 비롯한 전국에서

국민의당 자부심 더욱 키울 수 있었습니다.

정말 고맙습니다.

여러분 두 후보님께 뜨거운 박수 보내주시기 바랍니다.

존경하는 국민 여러분!

저는 오늘, 이 순간,

겸허한 마음과 엄숙한 각오로

국민의당 19대 대통령 후보직을 수락합니다.

대한민국 미래를 여는 담대한 도전에 나섭니다.

저와 함께 뜨거운 여정 함께 해주신 손학규, 박주선 두 후보님과 힘 합치겠습니다.

기필코 대선에서 승리하겠습니다.

손학규의 안철수, 박주선의 안철수, 국민의당의 안철수, 국민의 안철수가 되어

압도적 승리 쟁취하겠습니다.

대선승리를 국민 모두의 승리로 만들겠습니다.

승리의 길, 함께 해주시겠습니까? 여러분!

존경하는 국민 여러분!

국민의당 경선 투표장 모습, 감동, 그 자체였습니다.

우산 쓰고 어린 아이들 손잡고 오신 젊은 부부들을 만났습니다.

아이들의 해맑은 웃음 보면서,

다짐하고 또 다짐했습니다.

다음 세대가 살아갈 공정한 나라 반드시 만들겠습니다.

재래시장에서 만난, 반찬가게 어머님, 과일가게 아버님,

“장사 안 돼 죽겠다”하십니다.

그래도 새벽시장 다녀와 장사 채비하고, 가게 문 여셨습니다.

자식들 위해 힘들고 고단해도, 이 악물고 장사하시는 겁니다.

그 분들 모두, 제 손 꼭 부여잡고,

“제발 나라 좀 제대로 바꿔 달라”고 하셨습니다.

저 안철수,

전국에서 만난 국민들 기대와 희망,

가슴 깊이 간직하겠습니다.

평범한 국민들 힘 한데 모아 비범한 대한민국 만들겠습니다.

힘을 모아주시겠습니까 여러분!

존경하는 국민 여러분!

저에게 정치 배우지 말고, 정치 바꾸라고 불러내신 분들도,


외롭고 두려운 광야에 홀로 섰을 때, 손 잡아주신 분들도,


다시 한번 기회를 주신 분들도 국민입니다.

국민만 보고 가겠습니다.

국민께 도와달라고 손 내밀지 않겠습니다.

국민께 도와드리겠다고 손 내밀겠습니다.

저 안철수,

국민을 위한, 국민에 의한, 국민의 대통령 되겠습니다.

국민들의 간절한 요구에 정치가 응답할 때입니다.

계파주의, 패권주의, 극복해야 합니다.

정치인에 의한 공학적 연대, 하지 않겠습니다.

탄핵 반대세력에게 면죄부 주는 연대, 하지 않겠습니다.

특정인을 반대하기 위한 연대, 하지 않겠습니다.

오직 국민에 의한 연대만이 진정한 승리의 길입니다.

저 안철수,

오직 국민만 믿고, 안철수답게, 당당하게 승리하겠습니다.

저는 지지율 낮을 때도 대통령 결선투표제 주장했습니다.

단 한 번도 유불리 계산하지 않았습니다.

이제는 국민의 힘으로 결선투표 해주실 때가 되었습니다.

위대한 국민의 힘으로 과반 지지 넘는 대통령 만들어 주십시오.

그래야 통합하고, 개혁해서 미래 열 수 있습니다.

산업화, 민주화, 시대 넘어 새로운 미래, 열어야 합니다.

이 나라, 진보의 나라도, 보수의 나라도 아닙니다.

국민의 나라입니다.

이 나라, 청년의 나라도, 노인의 나라도 아닙니다.

국민의 나라입니다.

이 나라, 남자의 나라도, 여자의 나라도 아닙니다.

국민의 나라입니다.

편가르기 끝장내야 미래로 갈 수 있습니다.

분열주의, 패권주의로는 나라 바꿀 수 없습니다.

계파 패권주의는 말 잘 듣고, 줄 잘 서는 사람 씁니다.

저는 대한민국 최고의 인재들, 널리 찾아 쓰겠습니다.

편가르기 정권이 아니라, 실력 위주 드림팀 만들겠습니다.

공직은 증명하는 자리이지 경험하는 자리가 아닙니다.

최고의 인재와 토론하며 미래 준비하는, 젊은 대통령 되겠습니다.

4차 산업혁명시대에 미래 일자리, 미래 먹거리 확실하게 만들어 내겠습니다.

저 안철수,

낡은 과거의 틀 부숴버리고

미래를 여는 첫 번째 대통령 되겠습니다! 여러분.

존경하는 국민 여러분!

어둠이 물러가서 해가 뜨는 것이 아닙니다.

해가 떠서 어둠이 물러나는 겁니다.

겨울이 가서 봄이 오는 것이 아닙니다.

봄이 와서 겨울이 물러나는 겁니다.

안철수의 시간이 왔습니다.

안철수의 시간이 오니 문재인의 시간이 가고 있습니다.

국민통합의 시간이 오니 패권의 시간이 가고 있습니다.

존경하는 국민여러분!

3월의 바람과 4월의 비가 5월의 꽃을 데려옵니다.

봄은 꿈입니다.

봄은 녹색입니다.

녹색태풍이 우리를 다시 꿈꾸게 할 것입니다.

꿈이 있어야 미래가 있습니다.

꿈꾸는 우리 젊은이들과 함께,

역동적인 창업국가, 만들겠습니다.

상속받은 사람이 아니라,

자수성가한 사람이 성공하는 나라, 만들겠습니다.

오늘은 미국 인권운동가 마틴 루터 킹 목사 기일입니다.

모두가 이렇게 말할 수 있어야 합니다.

“나에게는 꿈이 있습니다.”

청년들, 꿈꾸게 하겠습니다.

여성들, 꿈꾸게 하겠습니다.

온 국민을 꿈꾸게 하겠습니다.

저 안철수,

대한민국 다시 꿈꾸게 하겠습니다.

미래로 가야 합니다.

앞을 보고 걸어야 합니다.

뒤를 보고 걸으면 빨리 갈 수도 없고 멀리 갈 수도 없고

똑바로 갈 수도 없습니다.

존경하는 국민 여러분!

이 나라, 경제도, 안보도, 외교도, 위깁니다.

제대로 된 대통령 뽑아야 합니다.

경제 살릴 유능한 대통령 뽑아야 합니다.

튼튼한 자강안보 실현할 대통령 뽑아야 합니다.

정직하고 깨끗한 대통령 뽑아야 합니다.

국민 통합하고 미래 이끌 대통령 뽑아야 합니다.

제가 더 좋은 정권교체 하겠습니다.

지난 2012년,

제가 완주하지 못해 실망하신 국민들 계시다는 거 잘 압니다.

하지만 저 안철수,

2012년보다 백만배, 천만배 강해졌습니다.

느껴지십니까 여러분!

이번엔 반드시 승리할 겁니다.

대한민국 안보를 위해, 이기겠습니다.

대한민국 경제를 위해, 이기겠습니다.

국민을 위해, 이기겠습니다.

개혁을 위해, 이기겠습니다.

미래를 위해, 이기겠습니다.

물려받은 유산 없이도

실력으로 빽을 이기는,

성실한 국민들을 위해 이기겠습니다.

저 안철수,

압도적 대선승리로 오늘의 선택에 보답하겠습니다.

강한 대한민국, 만들겠습니다.

빛나는 대한민국, 만들겠습니다.


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