Paul Manafort, the campaign chairman for Donald Trump, probably envisioned that he would be spending the morning after the convention’s first day doing something other than defending the campaign from charges of plagiarism.
However, the speech from Melania Trump at the Quicken Loans Arena Monday night drew comparisons so sharp to a 2008 speech from Michelle Obama that the Trump camp has been on the defensive since late last night. Tuesday morning, Manafort spoke with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on New Day, saying cheerily, “I think the night went great… I thought Melania Trump hit it out of the park when she talked about her love of family, the feeling of an immigrant who comes to this country and succeeds.”
Cuomo alleged plagiarism of Obama’s 2008 speech from the Democratic National Convention right away. “Who takes the fall for cribbing Michelle Obama’s speech in 2008? Whose fault is that?”
“Well there’s no cribbing of Michelle Obama’s speech,” Manafort said with a sheepish laugh. “These were common words and values, and she cares about her family.”
The wife of presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump has come under fire after it was discovered that sections of her speech appear to be lifted:
So that’s pretty blatant, right? pic.twitter.com/EPnHME7afV
— Mike Hearn (@mikehearn) July 19, 2016
“She was speaking in front of 35 million people last night. She knew that,” Manafort continued, before remarkably figuring out a way to implicate the failed policies of Hillary Clinton in his response (“This is once again an example of how when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, she tries to demean her and take her down”). They’re just “common words,” said Manafort, despite the overwhelming evidence that the 2008 address was essentially transcribed at parts with a few words and phrases swapped out using only, I imagine, Microsoft Thesaurus.
“If that’s the way you want to explain it, that’s up to you,” said the clearly unsatisfied Cuomo, who correctly noted that few people would be inclined to think that Mrs. Trump herself viciously hawked sections of Michelle Obama’s DNC speech. However, the Trump campaign has a team of speechwriters and professionals, and certainly the efforts of Melania Trump were front and center for Monday night’s event; the man of the week himself even flew all the way to Cleveland to introduce his wife for the remarks, now under heavy scrutiny and casting a shadow on the convention’s first day.
Watch the above exchange from CNN.
[image via screengrab]
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.