Did Melania Trump Plagiarize Michelle Obama’s 2008 DNC Speech?



Melania Trump‘s first moment in the national spotlight did not go as planned at the Republican National Convention. The 46-year-old wife of Donald Trump gave her RNC speech on the convention’s opening night, as it’s customary for spouses to do, but several lines sounded suspiciously like Michelle Obama‘s memorable speech from the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

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Both speak of parents instilling the values of hard work, accountability, respect, and tolerance, and both share some of the same words and phrases, including the very specific “your word is your bond.” Compare the sections in question for yourself below:

Melania Trump during the 2016 RNC:

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 lives. That is a 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.

Michelle Obama during the 2008 DNC:

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 to 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.

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The Trump campaign has, of course, denied allegations of plagiarism, calling them “just really absurd.” During CNN’s “New Day,” Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort said nothing was lifted from the first lady’s speech. “These were common words and values,” Manafort said. “To think that [Melania] would be cribbing Michelle Obama’s words is crazy.”
Now, if only Melania and Bill Clinton were required to debate, this whole election could really get started. Watch Melania’s whole speech below, then watch a comparison reel CNN put together.