North Carolina’s Republican convention delegates reacted angrily Tuesday to reports of Melania Trump’s alleged speech plagiarism. But their anger was aimed squarely at the media.
“It seems to me they had people ready and waiting to tear her speech apart,” said Lee Haywood of Guilford County. “I hope they treat the speeches at the Democratic convention the same way.”
He and others were reacting to reports that Melania Trump used phrasing similar to that in Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech.
Reports on the so-called plagiarism were a top story on morning news shows, including an MSNBC broadcast on a screen in the lobby of the delegation hotel.
Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, denied any plagiarism.
“There’s no cribbing of Michelle Obama’s speech,” he told CNN Tuesday. “These were common words and values, that she cares about her family, things like that. …To think that she would be cribbing Michelle Obama’s words is crazy.”
Manafort also pointed to likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. “This is once again an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, how she seeks out to demean her and take her down,” he told the network.
Delegate Donna Griffin of Greensboro said the media ignored the substance of the speech and called the plagiarism reports “hogwash.”
“If that’s all they had to say… shame on them,” she said.
Hayward called it another example of media bias toward Republicans.
“Y’all’s reputation doesn’t come undeserved,” he said.