Day 1 of the Republican National Convention was headlined by Donald Trump’s wife who gave a rousing speech about her family, her background, and the loyalty of her husband.
The excitement surrounding her performance, however, was quickly undercut when it was discovered that a part of Melania Trump’s speech was plagiarized from Michelle Obama gave eight years ago at the DNC convention.
Here’s a comparison of a paragraph from the two speeches where similar phrases were used.
Melania Trump, July 19, 2016:
“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 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.”
Michelle Obama, August 25, 2008:
“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.”
The Trump campaign has defended the speech, describing the accusation of plagiarism as “crazy.”
“There’s no cribbing of Michelle Obama’s speech. These were common words and values. She cares about her family,” Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day.” “To think that she’d be cribbing Michelle Obama’s words is crazy.”
“This is once again an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, she seeks out to demean her and take her down. It’s not going to work,” said Manafort.
New Jersey Governor and Trump surrogate Chris Christie also defended the speech.
“I know Melania. I think she worked very hard on that speech. A lot of what I heard last night sitting on the floor sounded very much like her and the way she speaks about Donald all the time,” Christie told NBC’s “Today” on Tuesday.
Hours before the speech was given, Melania said she wrote the speech herself “with as little help as possible.”
“I read it once over, and that’s all because I wrote it with as little help as possible,” she told “Today” on Monday.
Critics—including Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus—have suggested that the speechwriter should be fired for the oversight, according to a report by Politico.
On social media, people used the hashtag #FamousMelaniaTrumpQuotes to poke fun at the accusations of plagiarism.
— Hugh Evans (@Hughcevans) July 19, 2016
— RiotWomenn (@RiotWomennn) July 19, 2016