Home
 
Choose Your City
Change City

Trump's 'new American moment' was in two of Hillary's old speeches

Was Trump's State of the Union theme lifted from two talks by Hillary Clinton?
Getty Images

After President Trump's State of the Union address, commentators seized on his phrase "new American moment" as a headline and discussion point. But a former Obama official noticed the phrase might have been heisted from Hillary Clinton.

Roughly a quarter of the way through the 90-minute speech, Trump discussed the recent GOP tax cut and the future of job creation, then said, “This, in fact, is our new American moment. There has never been a better time to start living the American dream.”

Shortly after the speech ended, Tommy Vietor, a former spokesperson for the National Security Council and current podcaster, tweeted that he thought the phrase sounded familiar. And he pulled it up in a transcript of a 2010 speech by Clinton.

Clinton, then secretary of state, was asserting a foreign-policy philosophy that was the ideological opposite of Trump's: That the United States should assume a position of world leadership. "Indeed the complexities and connections of today's world have yielded a new American moment, a moment when our global leadership is essential, even if we must often lead in new ways," she said.

Vietor then posted a follow-up: Clinton had used the phrase even before that, at her 2009 Senate confirmation hearing: "I am proud to be an American at the dawning of this new American moment," she said.

While it was unclear if the line was lifted — and some on Twitter pointed out that it was a fairly generic idea — it reminded some on Twitter that borrowing from Democratic speechwriters runs in the family. At the 2016 Republican National Convention, future first lady Melania Trump delivered a speech in which one paragraph about values and respect was remarkably similar to several lines in Michelle Obama's speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.