The last time Melania Trump gave a speech it didn’t go very well. But this time she’s hoping to help Donald Trump win Pennsylvania.
Trump’s wife has stayed mostly out of the spotlight since her speech at this year’s Republican National Convention, which included a section taken directly from Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech. But on Thursday, she spoke at a campaign rally in Berwyn, Pa., her first solo event of the cycle.
"I'm an immigrant and let me tell you no one values the freedom and value of opportunity more than me," Melania Trump said after talking about her childhood in Slovenia and her 10-year process to get a visa. "Love for this country is something we immediately shared when I met Donald."
"He certainly knows how to shake things up — doesn’t he?" she asked, eliciting cheers from the crowd.
Pennsylvania is one of a handful of states critical to Donald Trump's election. Currently, Clinton leads by an average of 4 points, but polls over the last week have shown a tightening in the race.
“Pennsylvania is a state that we are confident winning. It’s a state (whose) makeup fully relates to Mr. Trump’s message as well as Mrs. Trump’s message,” Boris Epsteyn, a senior adviser to the campaign, told USA TODAY on Thursday.
“She’s somebody who is a great representative of Mr. Trump and Mr. Trump's family. She’s the rock of that family, somebody who is thoughtful, someone who is brilliant in her own regard,” Epsteyn said.
The campaign has spent a significant amount of time in Chester County, a Philadelphia suburb, where the city of Berwyn is located.
It’s a county in battleground Pennsylvania full of white, college-educated voters, a demographic with which Donald Trump has struggled.
One way the campaign has tried to appeal to suburban voters is to dispatch some of his less bombastic surrogates to the area. His daughter Ivanka Trump held a series of “coffee with Ivanka” events in the Philadelphia suburbs last month.
"People have asked me, if Donald is the President, what kind of First Lady will you be?" Melania Trump said Thursday. "It will be my honor and privilege to serve this country. I will be an advocate for women and for children."
"I want our children in this country, and all around the world, to live a beautiful life, to be safe and secure. To dream freely of love and a family of their own someday. We need to teach our youth American values. Kindness, honesty, respect, compassion, charity, understanding, cooperation. I do worry about all of our children."
Melania Trump also discussed "one of my main focuses" if she is first lady — online bullying. Social media "like anything that is powerful it can have a bad side," she said.
"We have to find a better way to talk to each other, to disagree with each other, to respect each other," she said.
Washington Post-ABC News tracking polls released this week have Donald Trump losing white, college-educated women by roughly two dozen points. Mitt Romney won the group by 6 points according to exit polls.
Epsteyn did not immediately respond to a follow-up question about who wrote Melania Trump's speech for Thursday. In July, a Trump aide took responsibility for the RNC speech which included the plagiarized section she said she offered to resign but Donald Trump rejected it.