clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Trump camp defends Melania's speech: Michelle Obama didn't "invent" the English language

The Trump campaign has launched a new defense of Melania Trump’s apparent plagiarism of a Michelle Obama speech: that the first lady didn’t invent the English language.

There are two paragraphs from Melania Trump’s Republican National Convention remarks that look incredibly similar to Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech at the Democratic convention.

But in true Trump style, the campaign isn’t apologizing for the speechwriting error but is instead defending it. In a brief Facebook Live interview with the Hill, Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson made the case that this was just two people speaking the same language.

"And this concept that Michelle Obama invented the English language is absurd," Pierson said. "Look at the remarks from Laura Bush in 2004, and I think you will find something similar."

She also added, "These are values – Republican values, by the way – of hard work, determination, family values, dedication, and respect, and that’s Melania Trump."

I did look at Laura Bush’s speech from the 2004 Republican convention — and sure enough, like many first ladies before her, Bush talked about family and the importance of hard work. She shared an anecdote about a small-business owner, Carmella, who once told her, "If you're determined and you want to work hard, you can do anything you want to. That's the beautiful thing about America." Bush also spoke of her husband’s unwavering values. She did not, however, use the same sentence structure, paragraph structure, and language as Michelle and Melania.

Watch: Did Melania Trump plagiarize Michelle Obama?

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.