By Sam Nyang’u
Melania Trump’s speech Monday to the Republican National Convention has come under fire as it appears that two of the passages are strikingly similar to the speech first lady Michelle Obama gave in 2008 at the Democratic National Convention.
The passages in question focus on lessons that Melania Trump, the wife of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, said she learned from her parents and the relevance of their lessons in her experience as a mother.
The remarks came toward the beginning of her speech, which was otherwise distinct from the address that Michelle Obama gave when her husband, then-Sen. Barack Obama, was being nominated for president.
“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 and keep your promise, that you treat people with respect. They taught and showed me values and morals in their daily life,” Melania Trump said in her speech in Cleveland.
In Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech in Denver, she said: “And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: like, you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond, that 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.”
Another passage with some similarities that follows two sentences later in Melania Trump’s speech addresses her attempts to instill those values in her son.
“We need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow,” she said. “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.”
In the first lady’s 2008 speech, she said, “Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values and to pass them onto 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 hard for them.”
The Trump campaign said in a statement early Tuesday that Melania Trump’s speech “included fragments that reflected her own thinking,” but didn’t say whether it was plagiarized from Michelle Obama’s speech.
“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,” the statement read.
An interview of the Trump’s is set to air Tuesday on NBC News in which Melania Trump discusses her speech and how she wrote it. In the preview for the interview, Melania Trump said “I wrote it, with little help.”