Only a week after Democrats went ballistic over Melania Trump’s use of phrases from a Michelle Obama speech in her address to the Republican National Convention, the situation has been reversed.
This time, it’s Donald Trump Jr. who is saying Barack Obama plagiarized a phrase he used in his speech last week.
But he wasn’t critical.
“I’m honored that POTUS would plagiarize a line from my speech last week,” he tweeted.
But he did ask, based on the media’s response to Melania Trump’s situation, “Where’s the outrage?”
Trump, in Cleveland, said: “There’s so much work to do. We will not accept the current state of our country because it’s too hard to change. That’s not the America I know. We’re going to unleash the creative spirit and energy of all Americans. We’re going to make our schools the best in the world for every single American of every single ethnicity and background.”
And Obama said, in Philadelphia: “What we heard in Cleveland last week wasn’t particularly Republican and it sure wasn’t conservative. What we heard was a deeply pessimistic vision of a country where we turn against each other and turn away from the rest of the world. There were no serious solutions to pressing problems, just the fanning of resentment and blame and anger and hate. And that is not the America I know. The America I know is full of courage, and optimism, and ingenuity. The America I know is decent and generous.”
NBC admitted Trump Jr. “is correct that both he and Obama both used the single phrase in their speeches to their respective party conventions.”
But then it snarkily added: “But it’s also a line Obama, along with other past presidents, has used frequently in the past. And other than the brief sentiment about the version of American known to both men, the context of the statements are very different.”
NBC cited Obama’s use of a similar phrase in 2010 in Cleveland, in 2012 in Michigan and this year in Dallas.
However, the NBC report pointedly left out any reference to the theme of “your word is your bond,” leaving the impression it originated with Michelle Obama.
Michelle Obama in 2008 said “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.”
Melania Trump last week said, “From a young age, 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.”
Related columns (story continues below):
“How Hillary saved millions of lives,” by Joseph Farah
“Philadelphia vs. Cleveland: Divided we stand,” by Pat Buchanan
“Bernie is a mainstream Democrat,” by David Limbaugh
“Left-wing media play Dr. Trumpenstein,” by Laura Hollis
“Lucifer would be proud of Obama’s DNC speech,” by Wayne Allyn Root
Slate reported: “Word-bond equivalence – the idea of it, if not the precise phrasing deployed by Trump and Obama – reaches back centuries. The books of Matthew and Numbers both contain passages in which one’s spoken vow becomes a sacred commitment. In Numbers, the Hebrew elder Moshe instructs the tribes of Israel: ‘When a man … swears an oath to bind his soul with a bond, he shall not break is word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.’ Chaucer, too, punned on the idea of ‘trouthe’ – to ‘pledge one’s trouthe’ meant both to enter into an indissoluble contract and to affirm the semantic ‘truth’ of the words manifesting that contract. The Bishop of Exeter, Joseph Hall, wrote … ‘the honest man’: ‘His word is his parchment.'”
WND also reported when an employee of the Trump organization took responsibility for taking lines from Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech for Melania Trump.
Meredith McIver said she offered her resignation but the Trumps refused to accept it. McIver helped Melania Trump write the speech, and said in the statement she included lines from Michelle Obama’s speech by mistake after Melania Trump read them to her over the phone as an example of people who inspired her.
“Over the phone, she read me some passages from Mrs. Obama’s speech as examples. I wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing in the draft that ultimately became the final speech. I did not check Mrs. Obama’s speeches,” McIver said in the statement. “This was my mistake, and I feel terrible for the chaos I have caused Melania and the Trumps, as well as to Mrs. Obama. No harm was meant.”
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich weighed in by saying the plagiarism was being overblown.
In an interview with CNN, Gingrich was asked if her lifting passages from Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech is a problem for the campaign.
Gingrich responded: “Who cares?”
“The fact is, Melania gave a good speech. She was stunningly attractive. She’s stunningly articulate. Most of the people criticizing her can’t speak five languages. She’s a bright person. She introduced herself in a way that’s attractive.”
A study by the Media Research Center released Wednesday shows that the networks obsessively covered the Melania Trump plagiarism scandal but went easy on then Sen. Barack Obama in 2008 when he faced a similar plagiarism scandal.
MRC Newsbuster Rich Noyes found that the network morning and evening shows gave Melania’s plagiarism scandal 59 minutes, 25 seconds in the first day and half. That compared to 14 minutes, 11 seconds for Obama’s plagiarism scandal, barely one-quarter of the attention devoted to Melania’s scandal.