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Ohio Republicans Respond To Melania Trump's Convention Speech


All day here in Cleveland there's been a lot of chatter about what happened last night. That was when Melania Trump took the stage. In the arena, it was a showstopper. She was poised, elegant, if short about revealing anecdotes about Donald Trump. But what drew most attention later were a couple of lines about the values that she and Donald Trump share. They echoed the words of Michelle Obama at the 2008 Democratic Convention. For example...


MELANIA TRUMP: My parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life...


MICHELLE OBAMA: And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values, like you work hard for what you want in life.


TRUMP: That your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise.


OBAMA: That your word is your bond, that you do what you say you're going to do.

SIEGEL: In a moment we'll hear about the reaction from beyond Cleveland to the controversy that ensued. Here I asked some Ohio Republicans what they thought about it, and the consensus was, not much. Matt Borges is the state Republican chairman.

MATT BORGES: I thought she looked terrific and sounded great and did a great job, and I don't think she should be an issue in this campaign.

SIEGEL: But she was working with some professional people there, presumably, I mean. When you when you woke up to this this morning, did part of you say, who's running this show that they let that slip into the speech?

BORGES: Let me just say that what I woke up to this morning was much better than what I woke up to yesterday morning. And so the days are progressively getting a little bit better.

SIEGEL: That's because yesterday Trump's campaign chair made some very critical remarks about Ohio Governor John Kasich. The charge of plagiarism left Ohio honorary delegate Karen Kirk with this question.

KAREN KIRK: Who paid the speechwriter?

SIEGEL: Who paid the speechwriter?

KIRK: Who paid the speechwriter to...

SIEGEL: You think perhaps the speechwriter was paid too much for that speech.

KIRK: Yeah, I think so. Where did he get it, and who paid him to get it?

SIEGEL: And another honorary delegate, Denise Schaefer, said she didn't hear the speech, but she did bring the perspective of this city, home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

DENISE SCHAEFER: How many times have we seen songs that have been very similar? And you know, it turns out that sometimes human beings just have collaborative thoughts. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Prior to his retirement, Robert Siegel was the senior host of NPR's award-winning evening newsmagazine All Things Considered. With 40 years of experience working in radio news, Siegel hosted the country's most-listened-to, afternoon-drive-time news radio program and reported on stories and happenings all over the globe, and reported from a variety of locations across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia. He signed off in his final broadcast of All Things Considered on January 5, 2018.

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