Melania Trump’s speech jolts the GOP


Melania Trump earned praise for her speech on Monday at the open­ing night of the Re­pub­li­can Na­tional Con­ven­tion, but her re­marks al­most im­me­di­ately came un­der scru­tiny when strik­ing sim­i­lar­i­ties were dis­cov­ered be­tween her speech and one de­liv­ered by Michelle Obama at the Demo­cratic con­ven­tion in 2008.

The phrases in ques­tion came when Melania Trump — who told NBC News ear­lier Monday that she had writ­ten her speech her­self — was dis­cussing her up­bring­ing in Slove­nia and her par­ents. Here are the rel­e­vant pas­sages: Melania Trump, Monday: “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 lives. That is a les­son that I con­tinue to pass along to our son. And we need to pass those lessons onto the many­gen­er­a­tions to fol­low. 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 Obama, in her 2008 speech:

“Barack and I were raised with so many of the same val­ues: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and 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.

“And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by th­ese val­ues, and pass them on to 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 for them. Melania Trump: “I was born in Slove­nia, a small, beau­ti­ful and then-com­mu­nist coun­try in Cen­tral Europe. My sis­ter, Ines, who is an in­cred­i­ble wo­man and a friend, and I were raised by my won­der­ful par­ents. My el­e­gant and hard­work­ing mother, Amal­ija, in­tro­duced me to fash­ion and beauty. My fa­ther, Vik­tor, in­stilled in me a pas­sion for busi­ness and travel. Their in­tegrity, com­pas­sion and in­tel­li­gence re­flects to this day on me and for my love of fam­ily and Amer­ica.” Michelle Obama in 2008: “And I come here as a daugh­ter — raised on the South Side of Chicago by a fa­ther who was a blue-col­lar city worker and a mother who stayed at home with my brother and me. My mother’s love has al­ways been a sus­tain­ing force for our fam­ily, and one of my great­est joys is see­ing her in­tegrity, her com­pas­sion and her in­tel­li­gence re­flected in my own daugh­ters.”

Jar­rett Hill, a Twit­ter user whose bi­og­ra­phy de­scribes him as an in­te­rior de­signer and jour­nal­ist, ap­par­ently first no­ticed the re­sem­blance be­tween Melania Trump’s speech and Michelle Obama’s.

But Melania Trump said in an in­ter­view taped with NBC’s Matt Lauer be­fore her speech that she went over it just once in ad­vance. “I wrote it with as lit­tle help as pos­si­ble,” she said.

Don­ald Trump’s cam­paign aides stayed quiet early Tues­day. Pri­vately, one Trump aide said the cam­paign was go­ing over the pas­sages from the two speeches, while another blamed the news me­dia and Democrats, sug­gest­ing they were fan­ning flames.

As the controversy broke out, Don­ald Trump posted on Twit­ter: “It was truly an hon­our to in­tro­duce my wife, Melania. Her speech and de­meanour were ab­so­lutely in­cred­i­ble. Very proud!”

Hill, a television jour­nal­ist who was re­cently laid off, said that one of Melania Trump’s lines — the words “strength of your dreams” — caught his at­ten­tion as he was watch­ing on his com­puter from a Star­bucks.


The wives: Melania Trump, left, and Michelle Obama.

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