Melania Trump Praises Donald's 'Kindness' and Says It's 'One Reason I Fell in Love with Him' in Rare Speech at GOP Convention
The wife of presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump took a rare step into the spotlight at the Republican convention in Cleveland Monday night.
The billionaire businessman introduced his wife after making a dramatic entrance across a darkened stage, with Queen’s “We Are the Champions” blaring and the crowd cheering wildly. He said only, “We’re going to win. We’re going to win so big.” And with that, he called his wife on stage, gave her a kiss and turned over the lectern to her.
“I’m so proud of your choice for president of the United States – my husband, Donald J. Trump!” Melania began to cheers from the crowd. “When it comes to my husband … I will say that I’m definitely biased.”
“With all of my heart I know he will make a great and lasting difference. He does not give up. If you want someone to fight for you and your country, I can assure you, he’s the guy,” she said. “He will never, ever give up, and most importantly, he will never, ever let you down. Donald is and always has been an amazing leader. Now he will go to work for you.”
Emphasizing her husband’s softer side, Melania continued, “He’s tough when he has to be but he’s 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.”
Melania added that her husband “offers a new direction welcoming change, prosperity and greater cooperation between people and nations.”
“Donald intends to represent all of the people, not just some of the people,” she added, as applause from the audience mounted.
She went on to call her American citizenship “the greatest privilege on planet Earth” and said, “If I’m honored to serve as first lady, I will use that wonderful privilege to help people in our country who need it the most.” She added that her agenda in the White House would be to work on women’s and children’s issues – to help “every child live in comfort and security, with the best possible education.”
“As a citizen of this great nation, it is kindness, love and compassion that will bring us together and keep us together. These are the values Donald and I will bring to the White House,” she added.
After concluding her speech, Melania’s husband joined her on stage again, giving her a kiss and a hug and flashing the crowd a thumbs up. Trump’s newly announced vice presidential running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, cheered them both on from the crowd.
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However, not everyone was a fan, as CNN reported that some people pointed out similarities between Melania’s speech and Michelle Obama’s speech in 2008.
Jon Favreau, President Obama’s former speechwriter, took to Twitter to comment on the resemblance, but later added that their were bigger issues to focus on.
“Holy s—. They’re nearly identical. Someone is seriously fired,” he tweeted, adding, “Tbh, I was more offended by just about every other speech than Melania’s plagiarized paragraphs.”
The speech marked one of only a handful of remarks Melania has delivered on the campaign trail (she typically stays at home with her son, Barron, 10, while her husband campaigns) and, according to CNN, she worked with a speechwriter the past five to six weeks on the text of the address.
Meanwhile, the GOP nominee’s daughter Ivanka Trump seems to have stepped in to serve as a “surrogate political spouse,” according to The New York Times‘ Jonathan Mahler, who wrote in April that Melania was “less than comfortable on stage.”
In a USA Today piece titled “Melania Trump speaks to a nation that’s rarely heard her voice,” published hours before her speech on Monday night, the outlet wrote, “A presidential candidate’s spouse is supposed to be ‘a secret weapon,’ like George W. Bush’s wife, Laura, in his White House campaigns. But as political secrets go, Melania Trump is unusually well kept. On the campaign trail, the presumptive GOP nominee’s wife has been more seen than heard – and heard at only a handful of public events. She’s overshadowed not only by her Democratic counterpart, Bill Clinton, the 42nd president, but by her own stepdaughter.”
Earlier in Monday night’s prime-time program, whose theme was “Making America Safe Again,” celebrities from Duck Dynasty‘s Willie Robertson to TV stars of decades past, Antonio Sabato Jr. and Scott Baio, gave Trump the “showbiz” he had earlier said he was determined to get for his convention. Baio called Trump “a man that I trust with the lives of my family” and accused Hillary Clinton and President Obama of promoting “division.”
Baio was followed on the Cleveland convention center podium by Pat Smith, whose son Sean Smith was a Foreign Service officer stationed in Benghazi, Libya, and killed in the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate there during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. “I blame Hillary Clinton – personally – for the death of my son,” Smith said to raucous applause from the GOP delegates. Catching sight of one man’s “Hillary in Prison” sign, Smith said, “Hillary in prison. That’s right. She deserves to be in stripes.”
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani also spoke at the event, where he praised Trump as “a man with a big heart” and said, “What I did for New York, Donald Trump will do for America.”
“This is a man with a big heart,” he added. “Every time New York suffered a tragedy, Donald Trump was there to help.”