CLEVELAND (Reuters) – Aspiring first lady Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention on Monday contained a section strikingly similar to that delivered at the Democratic convention in 2008 by the woman she hopes to succeed in the role.
A Trump campaign official suggested the similarity to Michelle Obama’s speech may have been the result of an error by her team of speech writers.
“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,” Melania, the wife of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, told the convention in Cleveland.
“They 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.”
That small section of Melania Trump’s roughly 15-minute speech, a highlight of the opening day of the convention, was similar to part of Michelle Obama’s speech in 2008 in support of her husband Barack Obama.
“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,” Michelle Obama said in her speech.
“…And Barack Obama and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generations,” she added.
“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.”
Before Monday’s speech, Melania, a Slovenian-born jewelry designer and former model, told NBC’s Matt Lauer: “I wrote it… with as little help as possible.”
A spokesman for the Trump campaign called the speech a success, but suggested her writers may have mistakenly injected some borrowed language.
“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,” Jason Miller, Trump’s senior communications advisor, said in a statement.
Reporting by Richard Valdmanis; editing by John Stonestreet
Photo: Melania Trump, wife of Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, speaks at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk