Monday night, as the Republican National Convention opened, Melania Trump plagiarized a speech Michelle Obama gave at the Democratic National Convention 8 years ago.
Early Tuesday morning, Trump campaign staffer Paul Manafort addressed the controversy in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper — and blamed Hillary Clinton.
Manafort told Tapper:
‘Once again, this is an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, she seeks to demean her and take her down.’
Certainly those on the left who support Hillary Clinton seek to take the Trumps down. The reason for that is simple — Trump and Clinton are running political campaigns, and only one of them can win.
To suggest that such campaigning has something to do with gender, though, is the literal definition of sexism, inserting a reference to sex when none is called for or relevant.
Before Manafort appeared on CNN, the Trump campaign had already spewed various denials and justifications for what they termed the “similarities” between Melania’s and Michelle Obama’s speeches.
Manafort rehashed the denial to Tapper, saying:
‘She was speaking in front of a crowd of 35 million people last night; she knew that. To think that she would be cribbing Michelle Obama’s words is crazy.’
Featured below is Tapper’s segment featuring Manafort, available via Twitter.
Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort: Melania Trump’s speech used “common words and phrases.” https://t.co/lkuwa1KM6O
— CNN (@CNN) July 19, 2016
You could definitely call it “crazy”– but that’s because to lift paragraphs right out of a speech the now First Lady gave 8 years ago is, to put it one way, crazy.
Vox compared the two speeches in question — and they are similar, to say the least. As Vox reports, the plagiarized passage focused on the “importance of hard work and ambition.”
In some cases, the exact same phrasing is employed, for example, “That your word is your bond and you do what you say.” In others, in an almost textbook example of plagiarism, the same idea is relayed through the same sentence structure while simply employing mostly different words.
Vox prepared a video comparison of the two speeches, which you can see below.
Featured Image is via Screenshot from Manafort’s CNN interview.