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Melania Trump's Speech Generates Controversy

Posted at 9:13 PM, Jul 19, 2016

After taking the stage at the Republican National Convention Monday night, many agreed that Melania Trump stole the show. Not longer after her speech, several people noticed similarities to Michelle Obama's speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. 

Melania Trump talked about her path to American citizenship, her husband's aspirations, and her dream for America. Others quickly came to the conclusion that Melania didn't just steal the show, but she or a speech writer likely stole part of her remarks.

"This is definitely not helpful to the Trump campaign," said Dr. Marc Schwerdt, an assistant professor of political science at Lipscomb University. "It's another point where they have an unforced error where they have to defend themselves." 

"This type of plagiarism is not unheard of," Schwerdt explained.

While lifting ideas from previous speeches is not a new concept, he said taking a speech more-or-less word-for-word was an obvious mistake.

"This is the only thing they will remember from her speech, everything else becomes the fluff," Schwerdt explained. 

One of the most similar lines came when Melania Trump said, "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." 

Compare that to the First Lady's speech in 2008: "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 hard for them." 

So how did this happen? Schwerdt said it was probably a simple mistake while in the brainstorming and editing process for the speech. 

"I think that it's possible that a speech writer looking back at past speeches made by First Ladies might have copied and pasted some passages from various ones that they think were very effective," Schwerdt speculated. "When they were looking at it, it got put into the process, and it never was eventually corrected." 

The Trump campaign has released a statement standing behind Melania Trump, and they have admitted to no wrongdoing.