Speaking directly into the camera to “mothers of this country,” she said she shared their concerns about social media and the use of technology. Her “Be Best” campaign has urged people to treat each other kindly, especially online — an initiative she has acknowledged sparked skepticism because of her husband’s proclivity to lash out at critics on Twitter and assign mean nicknames for his opponents in raucous rallies.
Trump, whose husband’s polling has suffered with suburban women, tried to cast him as a rough-around-the-edges truth-teller who delivered “total honesty.” “Whether you like it or not, you always know what he’s thinking,” she said. While she avoided criticizing her husband’s political opponents, she did not hold back from criticizing the media for “gossip” and “false headlines” — stopping just short of using the president’s favorite “fake news” insult.
The New York Times reports:
Speaking to Americans who had lost a loved one to the virus, Mrs. Trump told them, “you are not alone.” She acknowledged that “the invisible enemy swept across our beautiful country and impacted all of us.” The tone of her remarks stood in contrast to her husband’s insistence on defending his own handling of the government response and pinning the blame on China, and only ever mentioning the lives lost as an afterthought.
“It is what it is,” Mr. Trump said in an interview earlier this month when asked about the pandemic’s death toll, which on Tuesday reached above 178,000 in the United States, according to a New York Times database. Politically, Mrs. Trump’s high-profile role in the convention could mean a boost for President Trump from a surrogate who, in theory, could help sway suburban women voters but who has been disinclined to participate in campaign events.
In her #RNC2020 speech, Melania Trump touted her Be Best initiative. One of the main components of her campaign is tackling cyberbullying ― something her husband does almost daily on Twitter.https://t.co/t9GO4L5DAM
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) August 26, 2020
I don’t know about you, but I was fascinated by the clever juxtaposition of the bank of American flags behind Melania, and the Cuban military uniform that she chose to wear. pic.twitter.com/6cb03OqLQ0
— Dr. David A. Lustig (@drdave1999) August 26, 2020
Melania Trump’s military outfit is a strangely fitting way of concluding this evening’s pitch for authoritarianism.
— douglas rushkoff (@rushkoff) August 26, 2020
— Adam Blickstein (@AdamBlickstein) August 26, 2020
This is a really strange speech.
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) August 26, 2020