Melania Trump makes first solo campaign appearance in Philadelphia | News | DW | 03.11.2016
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Melania Trump makes first solo campaign appearance in Philadelphia

With five days to go to the election, Donald Trump's wife has sought to rouse female voters in the crucial swing state. She has said that, as first lady, she would be an "advocate for women and children."

Aiming to rouse female voters in what is a key state for Republican candidate Donald Trump, his wife Melania Trump said that if she becomes first lady, she would focus her efforts on combating online bullying.

"Our culture has gotten too mean and too rough, especially to children and teenagers," she said. "We have to find a better way to talk to each other, to disagree with each other, to respect each other.

"We need to teach our youth American values. Kindness, respect, compassion, charity, understanding, cooperation."

Describing herself as a would-be "advocate for women and children" as first lady, her remarks are seen as a response to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's attacks on Donald Trump as anti-woman.

However, Mrs. Trump's remarks may seem to counter those of her husband, whose rhetoric during his campaign has at times been vitriolic. Mr. Trump also has a long history of insulting people on Twitter.

Instead, Mrs Trump said her husband had a created a political movement that had made people feel "included, inspired and involved". She painted a picture of her husband as an ideal candidate. "'Make America Great Again' is not just some slogan, it is what has been in his heart since the day I met him," she said, adding that he becomes "very upset" every time a factory closes and workers suffer.

"Our love for this country is something we immediately shared when I met Donald," she said.

Mrs. Trump's speech at the Main Line Sports Center in Berwyn was her first since the Republican National Convention in July. That speech was initially well-received but was quickly overshadowed when it emerged she had plagiarized parts from First Lady Michelle Obama's address to the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Mrs Trump has explained her absence from the campaign trail by saying that that her priority is raising the couple's ten-year-old son, Barron.

She also celebrated her immigrant story, saying that growing up in her native Slovenia, "America was the word for freedom and opportunity."

The race tightens

In a final effort to step up support, polls show a tightening race in favor of Donald Trump, although Clinton maintains a narrow six-point lead, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.

However, polls released on Thursday released by the New York Times and ABC only give Clinton a slender 1.7 percent lead - a significant decline from the solid lead she enjoyed last month.

Many explain the tightening race by the re-emergence last week controversy over Clinton's use of a private email server while Secretary of State. At the same time, many commentators point to a number of Republicans coming home; while many traditional GOP voters may be displeased with their candidate, they have opted to remain loyal to their party.

dm/kl (AP, Reuters)

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