CLEVELAND — Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, was the star of the show on the first night of the Republican National Convention Monday.
But political observers on Twitter were quick to note that parts of Melania’s speech seemed to be ripped from First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech at the Democratic National Convention.
Here are the relevant passages from each speech:
Melania: From a young age my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond, and you do what you say and keep your promise, that you treat people with respect. They taught and showed me values and morals in their daily life.
Michelle: Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: like, you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond; that you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them and even if you don’t agree with them.
Melania: That is a lesson that I continue to pass along to our son, and we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow because — because 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: And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values and to pass them onto the next generation, because 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 hard for them.
Here’s side-by-side video of the speeches:
Melania Trump plagiarized Michelle Obama tonight, and here's the video to prove it: pic.twitter.com/gCDeJL04zY
— Yair Rosenberg (@Yair_Rosenberg) July 19, 2016
The Trump campaign was not immediately available for comment.
Melania told NBC’s “Today” show Monday morning that she had authored the speech herself “with as little help as possible.”
Before the plagiarism accusations surfaced, Melania’s speech seemed well-received.
Melania, a Slovenian-born former model, spoke about coming to America and called for unity heading into the general election this fall.
While many of the other speakers focused on bashing Democrats on night one of the convention, dubbed “Make America Safe Again,” she sought to bring people together.
“The primary season and its toughness is behind us,” Melania said. “Let’s all come together in a national campaign like no other.”
Melania also alluded to Donald’s fiery rhetoric, attributing it to his love for the country.
“The race will be hard fought all the way to November,” Melania said. “There will be good times and hard times and unexpected turns. It would not be a Trump contest without excitement and drama. But throughout it all, my husband will remain focused on only one thing — this beautiful country that he loves so much.”
Her message was much more warm and fuzzy than that of other speakers.
“There is a great deal of love in the Trump family,” she said. “That is our bond, and that is our strength.”
Melania also spoke of her path to becoming a US citizen, calling it the “greatest privilege on planet Earth.”
“I am fortunate for my heritage, but also for where it brought me today,” she said. “I travelled the world while working hard in the incredible arena of fashion. After living and working in Milan and Paris, I arrived in New York City 20 years ago and I saw both the joys and hardships of daily life. On July 28, 2006, I was very proud to become [a] citizen of the United States — the greatest privilege on planet Earth.”
Melania said she would not “take the freedoms this country offers for granted,” noting that “these freedoms have come with a price so many times.”
She then recognised “an amazing veteran, the great” former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole, who received a standing ovation and stood up to wave to the cameras.
Donald reappeared after Melania finished speaking. As soon as Melania and Donald left the stage, delegates and other convention attendees started streaming for the exits.
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