Washington: Melania, wife of Republican presidential nominee hopeful Donald Trump, faced accusations that her speech plagiarised US First Lady Michelle Obama as she took center stage on the first day of the Republican National Convention.
Commentators noticed similarities with Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech as Melania Trump on Monday praised her husband as a “compassionate” man who would “fight for the country”.
It was Melania’s first speech of the campaign, and according to Donald Trump’s communications adviser Jason Miller, it was “beautiful”.
“Melania’s team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking,” he said in a statement.
“Melania’s immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech, which made it such a success.”
Trump described his wife’s speech as “absolutely incredible”, but it was accused to be plagiarised as several sections of it were similar to Michelle Obama’s speech.
In a section, Melaina Trump said: “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.”
Michelle Obama’s speech in 2008 carried the lines: “And 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.”
Melania Trump’s speech continued: “[My parents] taught me to show the values and morals in my daily life. That is the 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 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.”
Obama had said: “And Barack Obama and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generations. Because we want our children, and all children in this nation, to know that the only limit to the height of your achievement is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”
The Slovenian-born former model had used the speech to portray her husband as a tough but compassionate unifying force.
“He’s tough when he has to be but he’s also kind and fair and caring,” Trump said.
“The kindness is not always noted, but it’s there for all to see. That is one reason I fell in love with him to begin with.”
As Melania Trump’s words spread on social media, attention turned to the authenticity of her speech — and to the words of another aspiring First Lady.
But Trump’s supporters are now so accustomed to defending their man from accusations in the media, they could still put this all down to another conspiracy against him.