The Trump campaign hates to apologize even when it is caught red-handed, seeing any acknowledgement of mistake-making as an Obama-like weakness. So it’s not a surprise that even though the evidence is overwhelming that Melania Trump (or her speechwriter) plagiarized from passages of Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech at the Democratic convention, the campaign has refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing.
But the spirit of the Trump campaign is to never say die, even if you look ridiculous in the process. In a move that recalls Trump’s own jaunty aplomb in comparing his borrowing of an anti-Semitic meme to a coloring book for Disney’s Frozen, RNC communications director Sean Spicer argued that the word-for-word copying of the First Lady’s speech actually came from the fact that these phrases are so common that they can even be found in My Little Pony books. As Spicer told Wolf Blitzer on CNN:
Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony said ‘This is your dream, anything you can do in your dreams you can do now.’ I mean, if we want to take a bunch of phrases and run ’em through Google and say, hey, who else has said them, I could come up with a list in five minutes. And that’s what this is.
On the face of it, this is an absurd argument. According to the plagiarism detection program Turnitin, the chances of Melania Trump coming up with the same words in that same sequence independently are 1 in a trillion. But Spicer’s argument does have some political advantages. There exists a subset of My Little Pony fans who are also rabid Nazis. Surely these people would be delighted to know that Melania Trump is borrowing from Twilight Sparkle rather than a black First Lady.