Stepping onto the national stage for her first big appearance of the campaign, Melania Trump, wife of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, detailed her own personal journey from Slovenia to the U.S., and called her decision to become an American “the greatest privilege on planet Earth.
Introduced by her husband, Mrs. Trump vowed her husband will “never, ever, let you down” — though she acknowledged that the showman’s campaign is likely to produce some “excitement and drama.”
The Trump campaign was counting on her, and Mr. Trump’s children, to introduce another side of the candidate to voters familiar with his public persona as a businessman, reality TV star and unorthodox campaigner.
Mrs. Trump didn’t spill any details of their life together, sticking to well-trodden campaign themes.
“Donald gets things done,” she said.
She told voters that her husband would “represent all people” — including minorities, the poor and those of all religions.
And she pleaded for party unity, just hours after the convention saw an embarrassing anti-Trump protest that had to be squashed by hard-nosed parliamentary tactics.
“You have turned this unlikely campaign into a movement that is still gaining in strength and number. the primary season and its toughness is behind us. Let’s all come together in a national campaign like no other,” she said.
Mrs. Trump — the candidate’s third wife — was born in Slovenia and worked as a fashion model. She is the mother of his youngest child, a son.
Her appearance Monday had been greatly anticipated. After she was done speaking, the convention arena began to empty as delegates went home, even though several speakers were still ahead.
Her speech brought the crowd to its feet.
“The whole audience was wowed,” said South Dakota delegate Allen Unruh. “It was a ‘wow’ factor that we haven’t had in a long time.”
He described her presentation as “charming” but also applauded the content of her remarks.
“She reaffirmed American values of hard work, love and compassion. None of this class-warfare stuff,” said Mr. Unruh.
Unlike his sister-in-law, Colorado delegate Kendal Unruh, who led an anti-Trump insurgency, Mr. Unruh said he was “100 percent for Trump.”