Themorningbellbd.com desk, July 19: Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, took centre stage on the first day of the Republican National Convention but faced accusations that a portion of her speech plagiarised Michelle Obama.
Commentators noticed similarities with Mrs Obama’s 2008 convention speech.
Mrs Trump’s speech also praised her husband as a “compassionate” man who would “fight for the country”.
But Mr Trump’s team said Mrs Trump used “common words” and blamed Hillary Clinton for the row.
“There’s no cribbing of Michelle Obama’s speech,” said Paul Manafort, Mr Trump’s campaign manager.
It was her first speech of the campaign and she had the help of a speechwriting team.
Earlier, Mr Trump’s communications adviser Jason Miller issued a statement saying: “In writing her beautiful speech, Melania’s team of writers took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking.
“Melania’s immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech, which made it such a success.”
Meanwhile Mr Trump himself described her speech as “absolutely incredible”.In a section, Mrs 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.”
Mrs 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.”
Mrs 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.”
Mrs Obama 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,” Mrs 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.”
Mrs Trump has kept a lower profile compared with other spouses of major candidates. The Trumps’ adult children have often been more prominent. It seemed to go so well for Melania Trump – she had delegates on their feet at the start and cheering wildly in approval by the end.
But hours later, as her words spread on social media, attention turned to the authenticity of her speech – and to the words of another aspiring First Lady.
What Republican delegates will make of the associations with Michelle and Barack Obama – so vehemently hated by so many Trump supporters – will undoubtedly feature in discussions over the coming days in Cleveland.
But then 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. Mrs Trump’s mostly personal speech contrasted with the night’s other speakers who spoke about “making America safe again”.
“If you want someone to fight for you and your country, I can assure you, he is the guy,” Mrs Trump said.
A wide range of speakers, including a county sheriff and a decorated combat veteran, told stories of military service, urban crime and the dangers of illegal immigration.