Donald Trump Jr. Delivers Recycled Speech Line at RNC

Trump Jr.'s speechwriter defends the lines on Twitter.

ByChris Good and Meridith McGraw
July 20, 2016, 2:06 AM

— -- One night after Melania Trump delivered speech lines nearly identical to Michelle Obama’s, Donald Trump Jr. appeared to recycle one penned months earlier by his convention-night speechwriter.

“Our schools used to be an elevator to the middle class. Now they are stalled on the ground floor," Trump said Tuesday night in Cleveland, delivering one of the keynote speeches of the day at the Republican National Convention. "They are like Soviet Era department stores that are run for the benefit of the clerks and not the customers."

That Soviet-department-store comparison closely matched one from George Mason University law professor Frank Buckley. Both Buckley and the Trump campaign told ABC that Buckley worked as a writer on Trump’s address.

“What should be an elevator to the upper class is stalled on the ground floor,” Buckley wrote in his 2016 book, “The Way Back: Restoring the Promise of America.”

“…Our schools and universities are like the old Soviet department stores whose mission was to serve the interest of sales clerks and not the customers.”

“I was one of the principal speechwriters. It’s no problem,” Buckley told ABC News, reached via phone Tuesday night.

Earlier, he tweeted that Trump had not stolen it.

Trump’s speech is not the only other place Buckley has used the line. In a 2016 article for The American Conservative, Buckley referenced the education arguments in his book and used a passage of it as text of the article, reproduced nearly verbatim, including the line in question.

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