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RNC Delegates Defend Melania Trump Following Speech Controversy

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CLEVELAND (CBSMiami) – While controversy simmers about whether Melania Trump lifted portions of her Republican National Convention speech from the current First Lady's speech in 2008, many delegates to the RNC are giving her the benefit of the doubt.

"I watched it on Youtube this morning. I thought it was fantastic," said Florida delegate Debbie Hannifan.

"It was great. It was good," said Jeff Giles, a Louisiana delegate. "She's a beautiful woman. She had a beautiful message. She's very dedicated to her husband and family and I think that came across."

But critics ripped her speech apart for its striking similarities to one given by Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention 8 years ago.

Delegates were quick to defend her.

"American history goes back 240 years. I'm sure people have said things that other people have said in that 240 years," Florida delegate Mike Lyster told CBS 4's Lauren Pastrana.

"There's no new words in the dictionary. So, um, when you're talking about how you grew up, when I talk about my upbringing it may come across as maybe the same thing. You just gotta tell your story and put it in your words," said Alabama delegate Denise Bates.

Jeff Giles agreed.

"Melania kind of went off script, if you were following the teleprompter you could see she did some of her own things, I'm sure what was written was perfect," Giles said. "What she gave was out of her heart. So just because somebody else used those same words some time previously, I don't think it really matters."

Florida Governor Rick Scott arrived in Cleveland Tuesday afternoon.

In a one-on-one interview with Pastrana, he said "I've gotten to know Melania a bit. She's a very good lady. She's a good mom. And she's doing what she can for her husband."

Scott added he knows how hard spouses work when their partners are campaigning, referencing his own wife. He believes Trump's team will sort this all out.

Donald Trump's children Tiffany and Donald, Jr. are scheduled to speak at the convention Tuesday night.

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