Donald Trump's elder daughter Ivanka introduced him before he accepted his party's nomination

By Kathy Ehrich Dowd
July 21, 2016 10:30 PM
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Ivanka Trump appealed to women on Thursday at the Republican National Convention as she introduced her father Donald Trump, who has repeatedly come under fire for criticizing women’s looks and making sexist comments.

Just before Donald took to the stage to accept the Republican party’s presidential nomination in Cleveland, Ivanka – who has earned a reputation as her father’s most trusted advisor since he launched his campaign a year ago – declared her father’s commitment to equality for women.

“There have always been men of all backgrounds and ethnicities on my father’s job sites, and long before it was commonplace, you also saw women,” the 34-year-old mother of three told the GOP delegates, noting that Donald’s companies have “more female than male executives.

“Women are paid equally for the work that we do, and when a woman becomes a mother, she is supported, not shut out,” she said.

Donald’s strained relationship with women has plagued his campaign from the start. The 70-year-old has called Rosie O’Donnell a “fat pig,” Arianna Huffington “unattractive” and said that Heidi Klum is “no longer a 10.” He has famously sparred with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and Elizabeth Warren. Still, Ivanka holds that, if elected, her father will do all he can to ensure equality – with her help.

“Gender is no longer the factor creating the greatest wage discrepancy in this country, motherhood is,” she said. “As president, my father will change the labor laws … he will focus on making quality childcare affordable and accessible for all.”

Ivanka added: “He will fight for equal pay for equal work and I will fight for this too, right alongside him.”

Ivanka has earned praise on both sides of he aisle for her intelligence, beauty and poise. So, it only seemed fitting that Ivanka, the second of Donald’s five children, introduce her father on one of the biggest nights of the business mogul’s life.

“Like many of my fellow Millenials, I do not consider myself categorically Republican or Democrat sometimes it’s a tough choice. That is not the case this time. This is the moment and Donald Trump is the person to make America great again,” she said.

While wife Melania generally did not join her husband on the campaign trail, it was Ivanka who often filled the role generally occupied by a presidential spouse. During her speech, the 34-year-old said she believes in her father, and spoke at length about the reasons she feels her father should be the next president.

“My father is a fighter. When the primaries got tough, and they were tough, he did what any great leader does: He dug deeper, worked harder, got better and became stronger,” she said. “I have seen him fight for his family, I have seen him fight for his employee, I have seen him fight for his companies and now I am seeing him fight for his country.”

Ivanka also spoke about growing up admiring her father, and learning from him as she played on the floor with Lego and Erector sets as he build real buildings out of concrete and steel.

“If it’s possible to be famous and yet not really well known, that describes the father that raised me,” she said. “He taught us there is nothing we cannot accomplish if we marry vision and passion with an enduring work ethic.”

A serene presence on the campaign trail – a notable counterbalance to her father’s bombastic style – Ivanka’s speech comes just one day after she displayed uncharacteristic anger at the convention when it became apparent that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was not going to endorse his primary foe during his speech.

RELATED VIDEO: Ivanka Trump Defends Her Father

However, the poise returned Thursday as she took the stage, and told people that as an employer, her father is “color blind and gender neutral.”

“Throughout my entire life I have witnessed his empathy and generosity toward others, especially those who are suffering. It is his way of being in your corner when you are down,” she said.

“In Donald Trump you have a candidate that knows the difference between wanting something done and making it happen,” she also said. “When my father says he will make America great again, he will deliver.”

Ivanka is the fourth Trump child to speak at the convention. Tiffany Trump, his 22-year-old daughter with second wife Marla Maples, addressed the crowd in Cleveland on Tuesday, as did eldest son Donald Trump Jr. Son Eric spoke on Wednesday just following Cruz’s speech.

Ivanka spoke with increasing confidence during the speech, telling the audience that she has “loved and respected him my entire life.”

“Come Jan. 17, all things will be possible again,” she said. “We can hope and dream and think big again.”

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