An alleged act of plagiarism by Melania Trump in her speech at the Republican National Convention last night has been dominating the headlines this morning.
Melania is accused of lifting part of her speech from Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech at the Democrat National Convention. You can read side by side of the portions of the speech in question here. This was quickly seized upon by Twitter users who don’t know how to spell the word “plagiarism.”
— Amy Sweezey (@amysweezey) July 19, 2016
So was the speech plagiarized? There was a paragraph in Melania’s speech nearly identical to Michelle’s, and she claims to have written the speech with minimal external help. The part in question however, wasn’t authored by Melania, according to Reince Priebus. According to Fox News:
Republican Party boss Reince Priebus said Tuesday he’d “probably” fire Melania Trump’s speechwriter if it were up to him, after her address came under fire for containing passages similar to the speech first lady Michelle Obama gave in 2008 at the Democratic National Convention.
Speaking at a Bloomberg Politics breakfast on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Priebus said he doesn’t blame Melania Trump.
“Some of these things are pretty common types of themes,” he said, describing her speech as “inspirational” and calling the flap a “distraction” — while predicting they’d get “back to action this afternoon.”
But he said he’d probably fire the speechwriter.
Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, meanwhile, denied there was any “cribbing” of Michelle Obama’s speech. “Certainly, there’s no feeling on her part that she did it,” he told CNN.
And during a briefing Tuesday in Cleveland, Manafort simply explained that the themes in her speech “are personal to her and they are personal to a lot of people. Obviously Michelle Obama feels similar sentiments for her family.”
And just a minor side note: did any of those freaking out over this care when Barack Obama chose a Vice President who had to drop out of a Presidential race in 1988 due to plagiarism accusations? I didn’t think so.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]