Missouri Republicans on Tuesday pushed back against suggestions that Melania Trump, wife of presumptive nominee Donald Trump, lifted parts of her convention speech from Michelle Obama.
“You’re not going to get that out of me, because I don’t think it was (plagiarism),” said Gordon Kinne, a delegate from Springfield. “I think you could go back and see about any presidential speech .... When you have a narrow subject, there are only so many adjectives.”
Melania Trump’s speech delivery Monday was widely praised by Republicans, but word of the apparent similarities between her speech and Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech spread quickly.
The controversy marked the end of a rocky first day for Republicans in Cleveland, which included an early controversy over the rules of the convention.
But Melania Trump’s speech is likely to dominate much of the coverage in Cleveland Tuesday.
“The television media is covering that angle that the Democrats are pushing,” said former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who spoke to Missouri Republicans in the morning.
“You listen to it, and it’s just common language that we all use,” Hutchinson said. “I just do not see it.”
Danette Proctor, a Missouri delegate from southwest Missouri, learned of the plagiarism claim Tuesday morning.
But she said she was more worried about the dispute on the floor Monday concerning the convention rules. Dozens of delegates chanted for a voice vote on the rules, but were turned back by Trump delegates.
“It didn’t look good for our party,” she said. “That was very disturbing, that that was broadcast.”
Several Republicans said privately the first day of the convention did not go as smoothly as they had hoped. Speeches ran long, pushing some speeches past prime time — after delegates had left.
Missouri’s delegates plan a day of sight-seeing before the convention convenes in the afternoon. The roll call of states is expected today, and Trump will be formally nominated by the delegates here.