Melania Trump 'plagiarises' Michelle Obama in Republican convention speech

Melania Trump 'plagiarises' Michelle Obama in Republican convention speech
4 min read
19 Jul, 2016
Video: Donald Tump's wife address to Republican delegates was viewed as a success, until it was noted that passages almost entirely matched an earlier speech by Michelle Obama.
Watch now: Melania's address has been dogged by controversy very different to her husband's [AFP]

Melania Trump made her maiden speech at the Republican National Convention on Monday, in one of the conference's most highly anticipated addresses. 

Her husband Donald Trump - who is running for president - has been under attack for his callous and insensitive approach to human rights and minority issues.

Melania hoped to show a more human side of her embattled husband.

Although the undeniably elegant Melania did not fluff her lines, and her speech was met with warm applause by the delegates, critics noted an undeniable sense of deja vu.

Similarities of her passage to Michelle Obama's speech to the 2008 Democratic convention are without question similar.

Both made a point of highlighting the strong ethics they were brought up with - Michelle in the US and Melania in Slovenia - and how respect and hard-work were fundamental to their outlooks on life. 

Here's Melania's words: 

"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 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."

While Michella Obama said, eight years before:

"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."

The similarities are striking, with speech writers almost using word-for-word Michelle's speech.

Trump's senior communications adviser, Jason Miller, issued did not outright deny the obvious, but did try and limit the damage.

"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," he said.

"Melania's immigrant experience and love for America shone through in her speech, which made it such a success."

However, Melania insisted that she wrote it with "a little help".

Of course, whether it was Melania or speechwriters who penned the address is not yet clear does not detract from the fact that her husband Donald has embraced controversy, but probably not of this kind.

Donald Trump has been accused of racism and sexism after a number of attacks on Muslims, women, homosexuals, Mexicans and many, many more in speeches and interviews.

Social media users joined the debate on the controversial plagiarised speech, making comments and sharing videos highlighting the comparisons.

Others showed support for Melania Trump, blaming her speech writer instead.

'Chaotic opening day'

The speech was just one embarrassing glitch in an altogether chaotic opening day of a Republican convention.

Delegates are set to formally nominate Donald Trump as presidential candidate for the party in Cleveland.

Donald Trump was probably hoping to use his wife's address to show a softer side, and play on the immigrant roots after accusations of racism.

Melania was only happy to oblidge is showing that his tough man persona was not without reason.

"He's tough when he has to be, but he's also kind and fair and caring," Melania Trump said. She described him as "loyal" to her, family, friends and the country.

"If you want someone to fight for you and your country, I can assure you, he's the guy."

Agencies contributed to this story.