CLEVELAND, OHIO, UNITED STATES (JULY 18, 2016) (RESTRICTED POOL) – Donald Trump’s wife, Melania, in her first major political speech on Monday (July 18), portrayed her husband as a talented, compassionate and unrelenting leader who would unify rather than divide the country if elected to the White House.
The Slovenian-born jewellery designer and former model delivered the speech, part of which referred to the values held by her family resembling an address given by current First Lady Michelle Obama in 2008, to a cheering crowd at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland after a one-minute introduction from Trump.
“From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life. That your work is your bond, and you do what you say and keep your promise. That you treat people with respect,” the aspiring first lady told the convention.
“From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life. That your work is your bond, and you do what you say and keep your promise. That you treat people with respect,” said current First Lady Michelle Obama in 2008.
A Trump campaign official did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the similarity.
Melania’s roughly 15-minute speech was a bid to soften the image of the New York businessman-turned-politician, who has been accused of bigotry and callousness for his calls to suspend Muslim immigration and deport millions of undocumented immigrants if elected. He has also been criticized for insults directed at women, political opponents and journalists.
Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, has accused Trump, 70, of lacking the experience and temperament needed to work in the Oval Office. On Monday, Clinton, 68, used an address to a largely black audience to cast Trump as someone who would divide the country along racial, ethnic, and religious lines.