— -- Melania Trump today laid out how she would like to be an advocate for women and young people as first lady -- specifically identifying social media as an area where she’d like to have a positive influence.
“Our culture has gotten too mean and too rough,” the wife of GOP nominee Donald Trump said, speaking about the potential negative impacts of social media and cyberbullying on the self-esteem of young people in a speech in Berwyn, Pennsylvania.
“Social media is a centerpiece of our lives,” Melania Trump said. “But like anything that is powerful, it can have a bad side. We have seen this already. As adults, many of us are able to handle mean words, even lies. Children and teenagers can be fragile. They are hurt when they are made fun of or made to feel less in looks or intelligence.
“It is never okay when a 12-year-old girl or boy is mocked, bullied or attacked,” she continued. "It is terrible when that happens on the playground and it is unacceptable when it's done by someone with no name hiding on the internet. We have to find a better way to talk to each other, to disagree with each other, to respect each other.”
Melania Trump also said she’d like to help improve the everyday lives of American women.
“We cannot call ourselves a fully developed or advanced nation when 50 percent of our women live in poverty, when 60 million are without health insurance, when too many are choosing between basic needs like rent, food, and health care. This cannot be,” she said.
Melania Trump made her Thursday debut in the crucial Philadelphia suburbs, which often decide the outcome of Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes. Polling out of Pennsylvania last month showed Clinton in a comfortable lead in the state by over 6 points, but the Trump campaign is making a play for the state.
She also made a personal appeal for her husband’s candidacy, discussing his success as a businessman and saying she’s watched him grow increasingly frustrated over the passing years of their marriage at the direction of the country.
“He certainly knows how to shake things up, doesn't he?” Trump said. “He knows how to make real change. Make America great again is not just some slogan. It is what has been in his heart since the day I met him.”
Melania Trump also shared her personal story growing up in Slovenia and immigrating to the United States.
“We always knew about the incredible place called America,” she said, reflecting on her childhood in Slovenia. “America was the word for freedom and opportunity. America meant if you could dream it you could become it.”
She recalled being inspired as a young girl by the presidency of Ronald Reagan.
“We heard what he was saying and doing," said Melania Trump, who lived in Slovenia at the time. "President Reagan's 'Morning in America' was not just something in the United States, it felt like morning around the world.”
She also asked the audience a series of call-and-response questions.
“Do we want a country that respects women and provides them with equal opportunity? Do we want a country where every child has access to a good education? Do we want children to be safe and secure and dream big dreams?” she said.
“Then we want Donald Trump to be our president,” she continued.