NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Donald Trump‘s wife, Melania, made a rare appearance on the campaign trail Thursday, delivering a get-out-the-vote speech in Pennsylvania with less than a week to go before Election Day.
“This is not a campaign, it’s a movement,” she declared.
Mrs. Trump headlined her first solo event with a speech outlining her husband’s vision for American women, children and families, and laying out her priorities as first lady if her husband is elected to the White House.
“We cannot afford to have more of the same, we must break with the failures of the past and embrace a future that is worthy of this great nation and her beautiful people,” she said Thursday during her speech outside Philadelphia.
Mrs. Trump said that if she becomes first lady, she’d focus on combating online bullying as part of her work as an advocate for women and children.
“Our culture has gotten too mean and too rough, especially to children and teenagers,” she said, adding that it’s “absolutely unacceptable” when children are mocked, bullied and attacked online anonymously.
Her goals may seem at odds with her husband, who has a long history of using Twitter to insult people.
“We have to find a better way to talk to each other, to disagree with each other, to respect each other,” Mrs. Trump said.
She also celebrated her immigrant story, saying that growing up in her native Slovenia, “America was the word for freedom and opportunity.”
She described her decision to move to the United States and eventually earn citizenship “as the greatest privilege in the world.”
Mrs. Trump was introduced by Karen Pence, the wife of Trump’s running mate Mike Pence, who praised Mrs. Trump as “amazing” and “strong.”
“I know that America will fall in love with her, just as much as she loves the American people,” Mrs. Pence said.
The speech comes as Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton and her allies have tried to paint the Republican nominee as anti-women, a strategy Democrats see as the best hope for rattling him and driving female voters away.
Thursday’s speech at the Main Line Sports Center in Berwyn was Mrs. Trump’s first since she addressed the Republican National Convention in July. That speech was well-received initially, but was quickly overshadowed by the discovery that sections had been plagiarized from first lady Michelle Obama’s address to the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
While Mrs. Trump has given several television interviews and appeared by her husband’s side at events, the former model is more often seen than heard. She explains her frequent absence from the campaign trail by saying her priority is raising the couple’s 10-year-old son, Barron.
Trump tweeted that he watched his wife’s speech while on board his plane.
That came after he attacked Clinton, addressing a Wall Street Journal report that said the Department of Justice told FBI agents investigating the Clinton Foundation to stand down, CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported.
“Reports also show the political leadership is trying to protect Hillary Clinton and is interfering with the FBI’s criminal investigation,” Trump said.
Meanwhile, Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, has been campaigning across the country, along with President Barack Obama, Mrs. Obama, and a long list of celebrity backers.
Clinton tried to bask in the glow of the Chicago Cubs’ World Series victory, claiming she’s a lifetime Cubs fan.
“I only wish my late father and the great Cub Ernie Banks could have seen it happen,” she said. “Last night was special on lots of fronts, and who knows, maybe we can see history in a few days.”
New Yorkers might remember Clinton wearing a Yankee hat back in 1999 at the White House, and in a speech she once said she dressed as Mickey Mantle for Halloween. She later said the Yankees were just her “American League team.”
In Florida, Obama criticized Trump for his reaction to the “Saturday Night Live” skits.
“This is a guy who tweets ‘they should cancel ‘Saturday Night Live,’ I don’t like how Alec Baldwin’s imitating me.’ Really? I mean, that’s the thing that bothers you, and you want to be president of the United States? Come on, man,” the president said.
With just five days to go before Election Day, the race for president has tightened since mid-October with Clinton now leading Trump by three points nationally, according to a new poll.
The CBS News/New York Times poll shows Clinton’s lead is down from the nine-point margin she had over Trump a couple of weeks ago, but it is similar to where the race was at the beginning of October.
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