CLEVELAND (AP) — The Latest on Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention (all times EDT):
Newt Gingrich is calling the uproar over Melania Trump’s speech “baloney.”
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to see the passages in both speeches side by side.
In an interview Tuesday, the former House speaker dismissed the issue and pointed out that Vice President Joe Biden abandoned his presidential bid in 1988 for taking parts of British leader Neil Kinnock’s speech and President Barack Obama took heat for copying some of former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick’s speech.
“It’s a little ripe for the news media to suddenly find how pure they are,” Gingrich said.
Two sections of Melania Trump’s speech were nearly word-for-word from Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic convention in 2008.
Gingrich said it was an effective speech and “I’ll be glad to match our first spouse against Bill Clinton’s first spouse next week. And let people decide which of those two first spouses you want.”
Donald Trump’s campaign chairman says he would fire anyone who copied parts of first lady Michelle Obama’s speech into Melania Trump’s address to the Republican convention Monday night. But Paul Manafort added that he doesn’t believe there was plagiarism.
Manafort told The Associated Press Tuesday that he agrees with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus’ remark that he would probably fire anyone responsible for plagiarizing. Manafort said, “Frankly if I knew somebody did it, I would fire them too.”
Manafort added that “nobody believes” Mrs. Trump plagiarized the speech.
He said, “There were a few words on it, but they’re not words that were unique words. Ninety-nine percent of that speech talked about her being an immigrant and love of country and love of family and everything else.”
Manafort added in the brief interview, “This is totally blown out of proportion.”
He continued, “They’re not even sentences. They’re literally phrases.”
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus says he would “probably” fire his speechwriters if they lifted passages from someone else’s remarks.
However, Priebus says he doesn’t “have a view yet” on whether Melania Trump’s convention speech included plagiarized sentences from a 2008 Michelle Obama address. Priebus praised Mrs. Trump for her “inspirational” remarks, particularly her story of immigrating from Slovenia.
He acknowledged the controversy was a “distraction” but said he expected the convention to get back on message Tuesday.
Priebus spoke to reporters at a Bloomberg breakfast.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is playing down criticism over lifted passages in Melania Trump’s convention remarks, saying “93 percent of the speech is completely different” than a speech first lady Michelle Obama delivered eight years ago.
Christie said Tuesday that Mrs. Trump and Mrs. Obama “expressed some common thoughts.” He did not explain how he arrived at the 93 percent figure.
Speaking on NBC’s “Today” show, Christie said “a lot” of what he heard from Mrs. Trump “sounded very much like her and the way she speaks about Donald all the time.” He said on the first day of a party convention “everybody gets breathless about something to cover and a controversy to talk about.”
Christie predicted no one would be talking about the issue after Tuesday.
Donald Trump’s campaign chairman says it’s “just absurd” to claim that Melania Trump lifted two passages nearly word-for-word from the speech that first lady Michelle Obama delivered in 2008 at the Democratic National Convention.
Paul Manafort told CNN Tuesday morning that “there’s no cribbing of Michelle Obama’s speech.”
He added that, “there’s no feeling on her part that she did it.”
Manafort suggested that Mrs. Trump was merely using “words that are common words.”
Melania Trump’s well-received speech Monday to the Republican National Convention contains two passages that match nearly word-for-word the speech that first lady Michelle Obama delivered in 2008 at the Democratic National Convention.
The passages in question focus on lessons that Donald Trump’s wife says she learned from her parents and the relevance of their lessons in her experience as a mother. They came near the beginning of her roughly 10-minute speech. Mrs. Trump’s address was otherwise distinct from the address that Mrs. Obama gave when then-Sen. Barack Obama was being nominated for president.
Trump’s campaign had no immediate reaction when asked about the similarities in the two speeches. White House officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment late Monday evening.
Here are the passages in question.
Melania Trump’s speech:
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 me to show the values and morals in my daily life. That is the lesson that I continue to pass along to our son.
And we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow. [Cheering] 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’s speech:
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 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.