Ohio – Melania Trump, the wife of the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party, Donald Trump, was accused of plagiarizing First Lady Michelle Obama on her speech during the Republican National Convention.
Apparently, the slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ (used the first time by Ronald Reagan) is not the only thing Trump’s campaign have plagiarized. Melania Trump, 46, the candidate’s third wife, gave a rare 15-minute speech on Monday, during the first day of the Republican National Convention.
She stated Trump was the only candidate that would not let the people down, that he will fight for the country and more importantly that he will be “a president for everyone” including Latinos, Jews, women, and African-Americans. Her speech was very well received by the Convention participants’; with John Salm, a delegate from Virginia claiming she was the new Jacqueline Kennedy. Deedee Kelly, a representative from Omaha, Nebraska also stated that everybody had fallen “in love with her.”
The speech was intended to shed light on the “softer” side of Donald Trump, and to use her condition as an immigrant to put to rest the controversy surrounding Trump allegedly xenophobia. Mrs. Trump also gave hints that she would focus on women and children if she becomes the new First Lady.
— Gawker (@Gawker) July 19, 2016
However, a few hours later her words were in the middle of a new controversy when she was accused of plagiarizing Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech at the Democratic National Convention.
Here are extracts of both speeches, side by side for better comparison:
|Melania Trump at the 2016 RNC||Michelle Obama at the 2008 DNC|
|“From a young age, my parents impressed upon 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 kept your promise, which 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.”||“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.”|
However, Trump campaign chairperson Paul Manafort remarked that Mrs. Trump did not plagiarize anybody, but instead simply used “common words.” He also attacked Hillary Clinton, the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party, saying she felt “threatened” by Mrs. Trump, so she tried to “demean” her and “take her down.”
Jason Miller, a campaign spokesman, took a different route, suggesting the speech was written by other (unidentified) people and admitted they had used “fragments that reflected her thinking.”
Plagiarism is always a cruel thing, especially in politics
During the 1988 Presidential election, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s was accused of plagiarizing speeches from Hubert H. Humphrey, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and British politician Neil Kinnock. Biden chose to defend himself by stating it was “ludicrous” to attribute everything he said to whom it belonged. This scandal is often attributed to being one of the elements that sank Biden presidential bid.
In 2013, Senator Rand Paul suffered the same fate, when MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow figured out that one of his speeches was lifted directly from the Wikipedia page of the film ‘Gattaca.’ Paul addressed the issue, firstly by saying he was “targeted by a bunch of hacks and haters” and then admitting that he should have attributed the information in a better way.
In 2008, Barack Obama was also criticized by Mrs. Clinton. She claimed he plagiarize Deval Patrick, then the governor of Massachusetts speech about how words matter. At the time, Obama was a Senator, and defended himself saying he didn’t consider that “a case of plagiarism” although “he could have credited Mr. Patrick”.