July 19, 2016 7:29 am
Updated: July 19, 2016 1:47 pm

Melania Trump speech closely resembled Michelle Obama’s 2008 address

WATCH ABOVE: Striking similarities between Melania Trump's speech at the Republican National Convention and Michelle Obama's 2008 speech at the Democratic National Convention


Melania Trump’s Republican National Convention speech is being put under the microscope Tuesday, after many pointed out distinct similarities between her speech and a speech first lady Michelle Obama delivered in 2008.

Both speeches touch on the lessons each woman learned from their parents and as mothers – but the language used in Trump’s speech is nearly identical to that of Obama’s.

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READ MORE: Melania Trump addresses convention: ‘We’re going to win, we’re going to win so big’

Here is a comparison of those speeches:

Michelle Obama’s speech, delivered at the 2008 Democratic National Convention:

“Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: like, you work hard for what you want in life…”

Melania Trump’s speech, delivered Monday night:

“From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life…”

Michelle Obama:

That your word is your bond, that you do what you say you’re going to do…”

Melania Trump:

“That your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise…”

Michelle Obama:

“That you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them and even if you don’t agree with them…”

Melania Trump:

“That you treat people with respect. They taught and showed me values and morals in their daily life…”

Michelle Obama:

“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.”

Melania Trump:

“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.”

WATCH BELOW: Melania Trump, the wife of Donald Trump, is coming under fire after her speech had several similar lines to a speech Michelle Obama made at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Jackson Proskow reports.

Trump’s campaign manager has denied the speech was plagiarized.

WATCH: Trump’s campaign chairman defends Melania Trump’s ‘poignant’ speech

“There’s no cribbing of Michelle Obama’s speech,” Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager told CNN. “Certainly, there’s no feeling on her part that she did it,” he said. “What she did was use words that are common words.”

Manafort also told CNN that “this is, once again, an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, how she seeks out to demean her and take her down.”

WATCH: Critics trying to ‘destroy’ Melania Trumps words for political gain

In an interview with NBC News taped ahead of her convention appearance and posted online early Tuesday, Mrs. Trump said of her speech, “I wrote it.” She added that she had “a little help.”

White House officials have yet to comment on the allegations.

WATCH: Democrats slam Trump over wife’s speech gaffe, call GOP ‘vitriolic’

On the whole, Mrs. Trump presented a softer and gentler candidate. She said: “He is tough when he has to be, but he is also kind and fair and caring. This kindness is not always noted, but it is there for all to see. That is one reason I fell in love with him to begin with.”

The Slovenian-born former model, 24 years her husband’s junior, also reintroduced herself, showing poise as well as devotion to her adopted country and to her husband’s cause. Mrs. Trump, appearing in a striking white dress with elbow-length sleeves ending in big, puffy cuffs, spoke after an uncharacteristically brief introduction from her husband, who kissed her and called her “my wife, an amazing mother, an incredible woman.”

Melania Trump, wife of Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump, waves after addressing the delegate as her husband Donald Trump applauds during first day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Monday, July 18, 2016.

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Prior to Monday, Mrs. Trump had spoken on her husband’s behalf only a few times, and briefly, and her remarks Monday lasted roughly 10 minutes as she spoke slowly in heavily accented English. But afterward delegates were gushing.

“I think she’s going to be a great asset. She’s just magnificent,” said John Salm, a delegate from Virginia. “Honestly she reminds me of Jackie Kennedy.”

“I think everybody fell in love with her tonight,” said Deedee Kelly, a delegate from Omaha, Nebraska. “She seemed to talk from her heart, she really did.”

READ MORE: Struggling with female voters, Trump has wife stump at Wisconsin rally

The 46-year-old made clear her love for her husband, testifying to a softer side of the blustering real estate mogul the country knows. And without dwelling on her own humble upbringing in an industrial town in what was then a part of communist Yugoslavia, she spoke of her family, her sister Ines, her “elegant and hard-working mother Amalia,” and her father Viktor, who “instilled in me a passion for business and travel.”

WATCH BELOW: Melania Trump, the wife of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, said at the RNC that her husband will work for the American people and make sure each person is represented.

Mrs. Trump also gave a hint of what she might try to do as first lady.

“I will use that wonderful privilege to try to help people in our country who need it the most,” she said, describing helping children and women as “one of the many causes dear to my heart.”


Even as she largely avoided the spotlight prior to Monday, Mrs. Trump briefly became an issue in the race in March, when an anti-Trump super PAC released an ad with a risque photo of her from a GQ magazine photo shoot, showing her handcuffed to a briefcase, lying on a fur blanket.

“Meet Melania Trump. Your Next First Lady,” the ad said.

READ MORE: Melania Trump is not happy with GQ article about her life

Trump responded by re-tweeting side-by-side images of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s wife, with an unflattering grimace, and Mrs. Trump in a gauzy, glamorous pose.

Watch Below: Republican front runner Donald Trump retaliated at Ted Cruz on Wednesday night, posting a tweet attacking the appearance of the Texas senator’s wife.

If Trump were to be elected president, Mrs. Trump would be the only first lady who is the third wife of a president and the first to be born and raised in a communist nation. She wouldn’t be the first model — Pat Nixon and Betty Ford both modeled, too. And Louisa Adams, who was born in England, was the first president’s wife to be born in another country.

READ MORE: Trump threatens to ‘spill the beans’ on Ted Cruz’s wife after ‘slut-shaming’ ad

The glitter and glitz of being Donald Trump’s wife is a far cry from the sleepy southeastern industrial town of Sevnica, where she was born in 1970 as Melanija Knavs. Her father was a car dealer while her mother worked in a textile factory. The family lived in apartment blocks overlooking a river and smoking factory chimneys.

She found an escape through modeling when she was spotted in the Slovenian capital by a photographer. At age 16, she took modeling jobs in Milan and Paris. She changed her name to Melania Knauss and settled in New York in 1996. Two years later, she met her future husband at a party in Manhattan.

– With files from Global News reporter Nicole Bogart

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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