The response made no acknowledgement of the lifted parts from the First Lady’s speech, which set off a firestorm of criticism following the first night of the GOP convention in Cleveland.
“In her beautiful speech, Melania’s team of writes took notes on her life’s inspirations, and in some instances included fragments of that reflected her own thinking,” the statement read. “Melania’s immigrant experience and love for America shone through her in her speech, which made it such a success.”
The similarities between Melania Trump’s words and Obama’s, first noticed by journalist Jarrett Hill, bore a striking resemblance to Obama’s speech from the Democratic Convention in 2008, using the same phrases “work hard for what you want in life,” “your word is your bond” and “we want our children in this nation…to know the limits of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”
Melania Trump told NBC’s Matt Lauer during a pre-recorded interview, “I wrote it…with as little help as possible.”
But the GOP candidate’s response offered a different story, which appeared to put the blame largely on her “team of writers,” saying that Melania only contributed “fragments” of the speech.
The now-infamous address ignited a wave of mockery on Twitter, with users using hashtags like “FamousMelaniaTrumpQuotes that poked fun at her apparent theft while using iconic quotes from history, credited to Melania Trump.
See the Trump/Obama speech comparisons below:
Melania Trump’s speech from 2016:
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.
That is a lesson 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 is the only limits to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.
Michelle Obama’s speech from 2008:
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, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them.
And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and 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.
Watch this side-by-side edit of the Trump/Obama speeches: