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Melania Trump takes on cyberbullying in campaign speech

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Melania Trump hit the campaign trail Thursday, giving her first speech on behalf of her husband since the Republican National Convention.

Speaking in Berwyn, Pa., Trump sought to soften her husband’s image, detail her own biography and tell supporters what type of first lady she would be.

One of her top priorities, she said, would be to curb bullying, especially of young people, on social media networks. It’s a potential platform that’s particularly notable in light of her husband Donald Trump’s use of Twitter to rail against and insult his foes before an audience of millions.

“I do worry about all of our children. As we know, now social media is a centerpiece of our lives. It can be a useful tool for connection and communication,” the Slovenian-born former model said, speaking with an accent reflecting her birthplace. “Our culture has gotten too mean and too rough, especially to children and teenagers,” she added.

Melania Trump also told part of her life story and what life was like growing up in the city of Sevnica. She said she was inspired as a child by President Ronald Reagan and described herself as a young entrepreneur following her dreams to America. She earned cheers when she announced the year that she became a U.S. citizen.

“I grew up in a small town in Slovenia near a beautiful river and forests. Slovenia is a small country, but back then, [it] was under communist rule. It was a beautiful childhood. My parents were wonderful. Of course, we already knew about the incredible place called America,” she said.

Melania Trump, right, arrives to campaign at in Berwyn, Pa. (Photo: Mark Makela/Reuters)
Melania Trump, right, arrives to campaign in Berwyn, Pa. (Photo: Mark Makela/Reuters)

The speech marked the first time that the campaign-shy Trump has spoken publicly since the Republican convention in the summer. Her speech at the RNC was marred by the revelation that parts of it had been lifted from first lady Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech. She has done a handful of interviews, but has mostly stayed away from the campaign trail as her husband’s three eldest children — Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr., who were born to his first wife — have served as advisers and surrogates.

She also defended the character of her husband, whose campaign has been rocked by a flurry of charges from women claiming that he subjected them to unwanted sexual attention, in some cases grabbing, groping or kissing them.

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