Donald Trump Jr. on Thursday accused President Obama from lifting a line from his speech at the Republican convention. However, variations of the line in question have been used before by Obama before.
Both men did use the line "This is not the America I know" in their respective convention speeches.Donnie, darling, did you (or the ghost writer you employed to write your papers for you in college) sleep through the class on plagiarism? The coincidence of an unremarkable phrase is not evidence of plagiarism. So we'll let you off the hook for the line in your speech (though the self-plagiarism of your speechwriter, lifting passages from a recently published column is another story).
But as NBC News pointed out, Obama has used versions of this line in several past speeches. In a 2010 speech, he used the line, "That is not the America we believe in." And in addresses delivered in 2012 and 2016, he used the line, "That's the America I know."
Former President George W. Bush also once used the line, "That's not the America I know," as NBC News noted.
(updated): Stupidity among the trumpsters is contagious:
In Clinton's speech formally accepting the presidential nomination, she said, "America is great – because America is good."
She was very likely riffing on a famous quote from de Tocqueville's canonical "Democracy in America," where the famed political theorist wrote: "America is great because she is good."
But Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer seized on the line as evidence of "plagiarism," hitting back at Democrats after a passage of Melania Trump's RNC speech was found to be lifted almost word-for-word from Michelle Obama's 2008 Democratic convention address.Really? Guys, you embarrass yourselves.