BERWYN, PA – Melania Trump doesn’t have very much experience with public speaking. During the Republican presidential primary, Donald Trump’s wife would sometimes walk up to the podium to briefly say hello to the large crowds at campaign rallies. The few times she spoke in public about the campaign, it ended in a controversy.
Her speech at the Republican National Convention was wildly mocked for plagiarizing a number of lines from First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2008. And in May, In May, Mrs. Trump suggested that a Jewish journalist, Julia Ioffe, “provoked” the anti-Semitic abuse she faced from anonymous Trump fans after publishing a negative profile about her.
On Thursday, Mrs. Trump returned to the campaign trail to deliver a pretty powerful speech about combating cyberbullying and harassing in the battleground state of Pennsylvania. “Our culture has gotten too mean and too rough, especially to children and teenagers,” she told hundreds of Trump supporters at the Main Line sports center in Berwyn, a Philadelphia suburb. “It is never OK when a 12-year-old girl or boy is mocked, bullied or attacked. It is terrible when that happens on the playground and it is absolutely unacceptable when it’s done by someone with no name hiding on the internet.”
Ironically, Mrs. Trump failed to mention her husband’s social media habits where among other things has been retweeting anti-Semitic supporters who, according to the Anti-Defamation League, are responsible for some 19,253 tweets directed at Jewish reporters and commentators covering the presidential election.
But for the people who came to see Melania and Karen Pence, the wife of vice presidential candidate Mike Pence, these concerns don’t matter when Trump’s opponent goes by the name of Hillary Clinton.
“We are not electing a saint. We are electing a president who can protect us,” Ari Spero, a middle-aged Orthodox Jew from one of Philadelphia’s suburbs, told Jewish Insider. “When it comes to the electing of a leader, if he can protect you from terrorism and a nuclear Iran, that’s what you look for. That’s far more important. When the time comes for me to choose a rabbi, I ‘ll look for a different criteria. And the level of corruption we see coming out of the Clinton family and foundation, it’s corrupting our society. It affects us this kind of corruption.”
Spero had another reason for supporting Trump. “I’ve been around for many years and we always knew that Trump has an extremely good history of being supportive of Israel,” he stressed. “I remember when I was young, we thought that Trump was short of the name ‘Trumpeldor’ (Joseph Trumpeldor, a national Zionist hero) because he was always pronouncing wonderful things about Israel when other people weren’t and we thought maybe he has some type of Jewish background. He has a history of being pro-Israel. He’s proven himself. On the other hand, Hillary has a history of being anti-Israel – the way that she berated Prime Minister Netanyahu in front of the whole world because he had some apartments that were built in Jerusalem.”
“We must treat each other with respect and kindness, even when we disagree,” Melania Trump concluded her 18-minute speech. “I will be there to support my husband’s efforts to help all Americans when he is president… And, yes, this man I know so well, Donald Trump, with your help and God’s grace, will Make America Great Again.”