Donald Trump and his campaign are scrambling to address the apparent plagiarism in Melania Trump’s Republican National Convention speech, which replicated specific language from First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Trump’s former rivals-turned-surrogates Ben Carson and Chris Christie both refused to acknowledge the plagiarism.
Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort went even further. He not only denied the speech was plagiarized, but accused Democratic presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton of spreading the story because she hates other women.
“This is once again an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton she seeks out to demean her and take her down,” he said. “It’s not going to work.”
Manafort repeated the sexist attack in a press conference a few hours later. “When Hillary Clinton is threatened by a female, the first thing she does is try to destroy the person,” he told reporters.
Paul Manafort dismisses criticism of Melania speech, says it's what happens when Clinton "is threatened by a female" https://t.co/yHDg5uiGzK
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) July 19, 2016
Though Manafort is new to the Trump campaign, the misogyny is not. Trump’s years of sexist remarks about women, their appearances, and how they should serve men provided fodder for an entire ad campaign against him.
Over the past several months, Trump has focused that misogyny on Clinton as she stepped up her attacks on him. He has frequently accused her of playing the “woman card” and mocked her for getting “schlonged” in the 2008 campaign.
Ironically, the speech that Melania Trump’s writing team borrowed from was penned by a Michelle Obama speechwriter, Sarah Hurwitz, who used to work for Hillary Clinton. Hurwitz was responsible for Clinton’s famous concession speech in 2008, which praised her campaign for notching “18 million cracks” in the “highest, hardest glass ceiling” facing American women.