Donald Trump’s attack dogs suggested Thursday that Hillary Clinton “plagiarized” an oft-repeated line from Alexis de Tocqueville, one that’s been used by used by everyone from Bill Clinton and Dwight D. Eisenhower to Ronald Reagan and Pat Buchanan.
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.
— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) July 29, 2016
Not long after, CNN’s resident Trump supporter, Jeffrey Lord, brought up Spicer’s tweet on air.
“There was no reference to Alexis de Tocqueville,” he said, as his fellow panelists erupted in laughter. He also suggested a double standard was at work, saying, “It’s plagiarism from Melania, and it’s borrowing from Hillary.”
But even Lord didn’t seem to take his argument seriously. He laughed along with the group and introduced Spicer’s tweet as “amusing.”