Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump gives a thumbs up with his wife Melania..
(photo credit: MIKE SEGAR / REUTERS)
In a very brief introduction for his wife Melania, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump took to the stage in Cleveland at the party's national convention on Monday night, simply saying: "We're going to win so big, thank you very much," before swiftly inviting his Slovenian-born wife to address the crowd.
The short introduction contrasted starkly with the almost 30-minute prelude Trump indulged in when unveiling his running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, just a few days ago.
Taking the stage, Melania took the opportunity to present herself to the party and to the nation, having been a marginal figure during the primaries. She immediately endeared herself to the crowd by calling her naturalization as a US citizen "the greatest privilege on earth."
After summarizing her own path from Central Europe to the US, she also sought to re-cast her husband's image. Praising his loyalty and love, and calling him a "great leader," Melania said to great applause "Now he will go and work for you... Donald gets things done."
Trump has been dogged by controversies throughout the campaign for various remarks and proposals described widely as racist, misogynistic, and divisive. He has the lowest approval rating for any presidential candidate since polls began.
"Donald wants prosperity for all Americans... [he] wants to represent all peoples: Christians, Jews and Muslims," Melania said, promoting a message of unity over the more forceful and aggressive tone of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who preceded her at the podium.
Trump has repeatedly suggested that he would ban entry and immigration of Muslims or citizens from Muslim nations, calling for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” Many US Jewish groups
have condemned these statements, and have expressed extreme reservations at the candidate's courting of the Alt-right movement in the US, which has strong anti-Semitic trends, especially in its online presence.
In another example of the growing menace of online anti-Semitism, the Republican Party decided on Monday night to block its chat window for live stream viewers, after it was overrun by anti-Semitic Trump supporters.
Trump fans wrote slurs such as “BAN JEWS” and “KIKE” in such high volumes that, according to one viewer, the thread became "unreadable."