Fact-free politics: Chris Christie and Leslie Rutledge edition | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Fact-free politics: Chris Christie and Leslie Rutledge edition

Posted By on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 9:37 AM

click to enlarge MADLY SPINNING A NEW REALITY: Leslie Rutledge on CNN.
  • MADLY SPINNING A NEW REALITY: Leslie Rutledge on CNN.

Faced with facts, Republicans create their own alternative universe. So it is with Melania Trump's use of lines from Michelle Obama's 2008 Democratic convention speech.

They could throw the speech writer under the bus. They could blame the happenstance on the Slovenian native's melting pot of languages. They could say she MEANT to credit Michelle Obama, but forgot.

But no. Better to lie.

Chris Christie: "There's no way that Melania Trump was plagiarizing Michelle Obama's speech." 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge appeared on a CNN talk show this morning and according to multiple listeners also decried those who say Mrs. Trump was a plagiarist. She just relied on some common words and phrases, said Rutledge, echoing the talking points of Trump's campaign manager. Judge for yourself:

Michelle Obama, 2008

You work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them.”

Melania Trump, 2016

“From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise; that you treat people with respect,...
.

Michelle Obama, 2008

We want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.

Melania Trump, 2016

We want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.
It isn't the crime of the century. That a speech writer would copy and paste the language without more alteration says something about the Trump organization. So does continuing to lie about it. As do the foot soldiers who'll stand up for Trump no matter what. Looking at you, attorney general. (Trump people are blaming it on Hillary, of course.)

I'm searching for a tape of Rutledge's remarks. One account said Rutledge cited her college English major at the University of Arkansas as support for her analysis that no plagiarizing was done. Just research. Ouch. 

Roll tape.


PS: Chuck Todd of NBC notes that Sen. Tom Cotton's refrain of "help is on the way" was the same battle cry used by John Kerry at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. I happen to recall, too, that it was the tearful refrain of a Louisiana public official in a recorded telephone conversation with his mother in a nursing home imperiled by rising water during Hurricane Katrina. Help never came.

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