comscore Melania Trump speech paints a ‘kind and fair’ Donald Trump
Top News

Melania Trump speech paints a ‘kind and fair’ Donald Trump

Honolulu Star-Advertiser logo
Unlimited access to premium stories for as low as $12.95 /mo.
Get It Now

    Melania Trump smiles as husband Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump kisses her while exiting the stage after she addressed delegates during the opening day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland today.

CLEVELAND » Presenting her husband as softer and gentler than the man known by the public, a heartfelt Melania Trump introduced herself today to a nation that has often seen but rarely heard from her through months of the tumultuous 2016 White House campaign.

“He is tough when he has to be, but he is also kind and fair and caring,” Mrs. Trump said in a speech that was the main event on the first night of the Republican National Convention. “This kindness is not always noted, but it is there for all to see. That is one reason I fell in love with him to begin with.”

Mrs. Trump, in a white dress with elbow-length sleeves ending in big puffy cuffs, spoke after an uncharacteristically brief introduction from her husband, who called her “my wife, an amazing mother, an incredible woman.”

The Slovenian-born former model has been often by his side throughout the campaign, dressed impeccably but rarely speaking. She descended the escalator with Trump when he announced his presidential bid at Trump Tower last year, but his daughter Ivanka introduced him that day, a spouse-like role she has frequently assumed throughout the campaign.

Prior to Monday, Mrs. Trump had spoken on her husband’s behalf only a few times, and briefly, and her remarks on Monday lasted roughly 10 minutes as she spoke slowly in heavily accented English.

The 46-year-old made clear her love for her husband, testifying to a softer side of the blustering real estate mogul the country knows and spoke of his love for family. And without dwelling on her own humble upbringing in an industrial town in what was then a part of communist Yugoslavia, she spoke of her family, her sister Ines, her “elegant and hard-working mother Amalia,” and her father Viktor, who “instilled in me a passion for business and travel.”

“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,” Mrs. Trump said, adding that she has passed those values to the couple’s 10-year-old son, Barron.

Mrs. Trump also gave a hint of what she might try to do as first lady.

“I will use that wonderful privilege to try to help people in our country who need it the most,” she said, describing helping children and women as “one of the many causes dear to my heart.”

Yet whatever role she aims for, the contrast between Mrs. Trump and her counterpart on the Democratic side, Bill Clinton, is huge. He a former president and political natural, while she is a neophyte in the political world.

Even as she largely avoided the spotlight prior to Monday, Mrs. Trump briefly became an issue in the race in March, when an anti-Trump super PAC released an ad with a risque photo of her from a GQ magazine photo shoot, showing her handcuffed to a briefcase, lying on a fur blanket.

“Meet Melania Trump. Your Next First Lady,” the ad said.

Trump responded by re-tweeting side-by-side images of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s wife, with an unflattering grimace, and Mrs. Trump in a gauzy, glamorous pose.

Mrs. Trump did not dwell on that controversy or any other Monday, but she did seek to counter Donald Trump’s image as anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim. She insisted his campaign would represent “Christians and Jews and Muslims, it includes Hispanics and African Americans and Asians, and the poor and the middle class.”

If Trump were to be elected president, Mrs. Trump would be the only first lady who is the third wife of a president and the first to be born and raised in a communist nation. She wouldn’t be the first model — Pat Nixon and Betty Ford both modeled, too. And Louisa Adams, who was born in England, was the first president’s wife to be born in another country.

The glitter and glitz of being Donald Trump’s wife is a far cry from the sleepy southeastern industrial town of Sevnica, where she was born in 1970 as Melanija Knavs. Her father was a car dealer while her mother worked in a textile factory. The family lived in apartment blocks overlooking a river and smoking factory chimneys.

She found an escape through modeling when she was spotted in the Slovenian capital by a photographer. At age 16, she took modeling jobs in Milan and Paris. She changed her name to Melania Knauss and settled in New York in 1996. Two years later, she met her future husband at a party in Manhattan.

Comments (50)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

  • Can’t wait to hear Slick Willy next week. He’s got a lot to talk about. One powerful friend of Epstein is former President Bill Clinton, who first reported took 26 trips around the world aboard Epstein’s Boeing 727, dismissing his Secret Service detail.

  • headlines is correct “paints”, he is not kind or fair, but everything is about him, he is willing to step on you if he does not like you for any reason. this guy is vindictive and malicious and a bigot.

      • Another Trump campaign train wreck. They’re in major damage control mode tonight. If son-in-law Jared Kushner “wrote” this speech (he has written others for Trump), will he be fired? Or will someone else be sacrificed?

        • It was such obvious fraud and plagiarism, that it’s hard to imagine the campaign could believe they can lie their way out of it.

          This will be the theme of the whole day tomorrow. Mr. Trump already put a torpedo in his own convention.

          “I love the poorly educated!” Go Trump!

    • Almost word for word. Mrs. Trump told news folks that she wrote it herself, but that was obviously lying. She apparently takes after her husband.

      Could they possibly think that people wouldn’t notice she plagiarized it? Even for the Trump campaign, this is negligence.

    • I did not know Michelle Obama was born in Slovenia? Was a fashion model? Has a son Baron, mother and father Slovenian, twin sister?, loves Donald, world peace?

        • Housing Secretary and potential Democratic vice-presidential prospect Julian Castro violated federal law when he touted Hillary Clinton’s candidacy in a media interview earlier this year, according to a federal watchdog report released Monday.

  • GOP-friendly rock stars Kid Rock, Dave Navarro and Mark McGrath are all scheduled to play the Republican National Convention, but whether or not they will see many other famous faces there remains to be seen.

    FOX411 reached out to well-known Republican-leaning celebrities including Willie Robertson, Vince Vaughn, Tim Allen, Dean Cain, and Jon Voight, all of whose reps said they had no Cleveland flights booked.

    We also reached out to big self-avowed Trump fans including Tom Brady, Bobby Knight, Donnie Wahlberg, Charlie Sheen, Gary Busey, Mark Teixeira, Ted Nugent, Chuck Norris and Scott Baio, but none of them returned our calls.

    But there’s still time! Both Dennis Rodman and Hulk Hogan’s reps said the former basketball player and ex-WWE superstar said they are unsure if they can make it, but will decide in the next few days.

    And Caitlyn Jenner has her bags packed for Cleveland, but so far says she’ll just be attending the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to talk about the GOP opening up to the transgendered community, not the convention itself.

    Wow! Look at all that lack of star power!! It’s a who’s who of worthlessness. Way to go GOP, can’t seem to get any of these misfits, nor any real talent. LOLOLOLOLOL

      • Keep telling yourself that, Sarge. From personalities too embarrassed to be seen supporting Trump, to his wife plagiarizing Michelle Obama’s speech, the RNC is a horrid train wreck.

  • Come on what is Melania suppose to say? That her husband is ruthless and lies? Now if Trump could get his ex-wives to say great things about him I’d be impressed.

    • Housing Secretary and potential Democratic vice-presidential prospect Julian Castro violated federal law when he touted Hillary Clinton’s candidacy in a media interview earlier this year, according to a federal watchdog report released Monday.

  • A blow up doll who ssays what she’s told. That’s the follow up to a graceful intelligent first lady like Michelle Obama. You have to be &$^*#% kidding. And she fell in love with Trump’s caring and compassionate personality right, nothing to do with all that cash did it. These two freaks are a walking nightmare.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up