Melania Trump calls for unity, speaks to President Trump's 'authentic' manner in RNC keynote
"I don't want to use this precious time attacking the other side," she said.
First lady Melania Trump called for Americans to come together and spoke to her husband's character during a wide-ranging keynote address on the second night of the Republican National Convention.
Speaking live from the White House's Rose Garden in front of an audience that included President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, she spoke about the promise she saw in America as a young child in a communist country.
"As I grew older, it became my goal to move to the United States and follow my dream of working in the fashion industry," said the first lady, who was born in Slovenia.
Becoming an American citizen in 2006 was "one of the proudest moments in my life," she said. "With hard work and determination, I was able to achieve my own American dream."
She reflected on her time so far as first lady, from her travels abroad to addressing issues at home, including natural disasters, opioid addiction and the coronavirus pandemic.
"I have been moved by the way Americans have come together in such an unfamiliar and often frightening situation," Trump said while speaking to pandemic.
She also addressed the protests over police brutality on the heels of the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
"Like all of you, I have reflected on the racial unrest in our country," she said. "It is a harsh reality that we are not proud of parts of our history. I encourage people to focus on our future while still learning from our past."
Blake, unarmed, was allegedly shot multiple times Sunday evening by police.
She urged Americans to "come together in a civil manner" and implored people to "stop the violence and looting being done in the name of justice."
"Instead of tearing things down, let's reflect on our mistakes, be proud of our evolution and look to our way forward," Trump said.
On her husband, she said he is a hard worker who wants to make the U.S. "the best it can be."
"America is in his heart, so while at times we only see the worst of people and politics on the evening news, let's remember how we come together in the most difficult times," she said.
She said that he is an "authentic person." "Whether you like it or not, you always know what he is thinking," she said.
Despite the tone and rhetoric from other speakers from the first two nights of the RNC, the first lady made little mention of the Democrats. "I don't want to use this precious time attacking the other side," she said. "Because as we saw last week, that kind of talk only serves to divide the country further."
This report was featured in the Wednesday, August 26, 2020, episode of “Start Here,” ABC News’ daily news podcast.
"Start Here" offers a straightforward look at the day's top stories in 20 minutes. Listen for free every weekday on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, the ABC News app or wherever you get your podcasts.
ABC News Live
24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events