Melania Trump Echoes Michelle Obama in Convention Speech
Melania Trump, in her potentially breakthrough moment, appears to have lifted some of her first night convention speech from a surprising source: Michelle Obama.
On the opening day of the Republican National Convention, the similarities between the two speeches threatened to overshadow the plans of the Trump campaign to reach out to new voters and generate momentum for the general election against presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
"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," Melania Trump said as she told her life story.
It strongly echoed Michelle Obama's own words at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. "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," she said in Denver.
Michelle Obama then spoke of setting "out to build lives guided by these values, and to 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 tracked those lines closely as well. "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."
The Trump campaign said in a statement that "Melania's team of writers took notes on her life's inspirations, and in some instances included fragments that reflected her own thinking."
Before delivering her remarks at the convention, Trump and his wife were interviewed by NBC's Matt Lauer.
"I wrote it, with a little help, as possible," Melania Trump said of the speech.
Tommy Vietor, a former national security spokesman for President Barack Obama, said the similarity was "pretty egregious."
"I doubt Melania intended to plagiariaze FLOTUS, but her speechwriter has some explaining to do," he said on Twitter.
The comparison between the speeches was first made on Twitter by Jarrett Hill.