Immediately following Melania Trump’s speech from the White House Rose Garden, wrapping up the second night of the Republican National Convention, a CNN panel had almost nothing but praise for the first lady. In her speech, Melania called for unity and understanding, and said she didn’t want to attack the other side because that kind of talk only serves to divide. In Jake Tapper’s observation, in doing so, Melania brought something new to the convention.
“I have to say, not only is it in contrast with her husband,” Tapper said, “it’s almost a contradiction from her husband and the kind of presidency he has led and the kind of convention that he has been throwing.”
In a speech that was reportedly not vetted by the West Wing, Melania was also one of the only speakers between both nights to address the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the racial unrest that has now enveloped the country for months. Besides urging an end to the unrest, Melania acknowledged America’s painful history with race.
“She did touch on and did speak to the reality that is going on in a way that we haven’t heard many other, if any other, speakers really do,” Dana Bash said. “I mean, most of the speakers tonight really focused on bread-and-butter, touchstone, Republican issues and even Trump issues, politically speaking. She acknowledged what people are feeling, whether it is from the COVID virus or the racial unrest.”
Abby Phillip added, “There has been a lot of lip service to President Trump’s relationship to Black Americans, but very little commenting on the reason for the unrest. And, you know, I thought Melania Trump tried to go a little bit further than some of the other folks did and talked about urging people to stop the violence even though she said it was in the name of justice.”
And Tapper commended the first lady for giving voice to the vulnerable citizens of this country.
“I think you have to give her credit for embracing the cause of so many people in this country who are vulnerable, which again is not something you’ve heard a great deal about during this convention,” Tapper said. “Although, we have heard about addicts and we have heard about foster care, but Melania Trump giving voice to some people who are very vulnerable in this society, and that’s obviously something to be heralded.”
But it wasn’t all praise for Melania Trump. Tapper strongly rebuked the first lady for holding an official campaign event in the rose garden, as he did Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for delivering a speech from Jerusalem while on official business. Tapper said norms were being destroyed.
Dana Bash, on the other hand, took issue with the First Lady speaking about the troubles with social media while ignoring President Trump’s penchant for doling out insults on Twitter.
And, though he appreciated her addressing racial unrest Tuesday night, Tapper couldn’t help but remember Melania’s support for the birther conspiracy when Barack Obama was president.
“I can’t forget that she supported her husband’s birther conspiracy,” Tapper said, “the racist lie that the first Black president was actually born in Africa. So that is something worth thinking about when one considers her rather progressive comments about racial reconciliation and the ugly history of racism.”
For more on the Republican National Convention check out Yahoo! News.
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