Melania Trump Says Tech Is Making Our Culture 'Too Mean'

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Melania Trump, wife of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, at a campaign event in Berwyn, Pennsylvania.
Melania Trump, wife of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, at a campaign event in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Donald Trump's wife, Melania, hit the campaign trail outside Philadelphia on Thursday to call for more civility online, in an appeal to suburban women voters with just five days left until the U.S. presidential election.

American "culture has gotten too mean and too rough, especially to children and teachers," Melania Trump said in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, lamenting cyber-bullying in particular.

"Technology has changed our universe, but like anything that is powerful, it can have a bad side," she said. "Children and teenagers can be fragile. They are hurt when they are made fun of or made to feel less in looks or intelligence."

"We need to teach our youth American values -- kindness, honesty, respect, compassion, charity, understanding, cooperation," she said, adding that this would be "one of the main focuses of my work if I'm privileged enough to become first lady." She would also advocate for women, she said.

An immigrant from Slovenia, Ms. Trump, 46, described how she long saw the U.S. as a land of freedom and opportunity and how she managed to become a citizen "after a 10-year process which included many visas and a green card."

Ms. Trump also sought to humanize her husband, the Republican nominee, by discussing their son Barron, 10, and citing Donald Trump's joy in working with three of his adult children at the Trump Organization.

"We talk a little bit about politics and a lot about life, homework and sports," she said of Barron. "I want my little boy to know that he is blessed to have been born in this country."

The event was her first high-profile appearance on the campaign trail since the Republican national convention in July, when her message was overshadowed because it used lines that were traced back to remarks by first lady Michelle Obama.

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is fighting hard to keep Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes in her column. Her campaign said Thursday that she, former President Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama and the first lady will hold a joint rally in Philadelphia on Monday as she makes her closing argument.

After Donald Trump's 2005 remarks about groping women surfaced in October, Ms. Clinton trounced him in a Bloomberg Politics poll of four suburban Philadelphia counties, 59% to 31%.

At the time Ms. Clinton was also winning the state by six percentage points in a four-way race, according to the RealClearPolitics average of polls. Ms. Clinton's average lead had narrowed to 3.4 points on Thursday, according to the aggregator, after the FBI's announcement that it had discovered more e-mails pertinent to its investigation of her private e-mail server.

Forecaster FiveThirtyEight gave Ms. Clinton a 65% chance of winning in its polls-only model, down from 88% after debates in which she put the focus on Mr. Trump's treatment of women.

Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said Thursday on Fox News that the campaign's internal polling matches the public numbers in Pennsylvania, but she insisted Mr. Trump could close the gap there because of his message on the economy.

-- Bloomberg News

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