Melania Trump is starting to play a bigger role in husband Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, appearing more often at political events and even speaking out after Trump’s big win in South Carolina this weekend.
Trump was the winner of the GOP primary in South Carolina, his second consecutive victory after a loss in the Iowa caucus. Polls put Trump solidly in the lead for many of the upcoming primaries and with opponents starting to drop out, it appears his path to the Republican nomination is clear.
As Donald Trump widens the gap from his fellow candidates, his wife Melania Trump has started to take more of a role, Us Weekly noted. The otherwise quiet Melania even took to the microphone — at her husband’s request — to speak after the South Carolina win.
“Just wanted to say, an amazing place, South Carolina,” Melania said. “Congratulations to my husband, he was working very hard.”
Donald Trump also spoke about his family after Saturday’s win, mentioning his very pregnant daughter, Ivanka.
“I have a great family, I just really want to thank all of you,” he told the crowd. “And Ivanka, we have a hospital ready just in case and South Carolina, we’re going to have a baby and there’s nothing wrong with that. It could be any second. It could even be before I’m finished.”
Melania Trump, who made a name for herself outside of her marriage to Donald as a model and fashion designer, has also opened up more on her role, telling Us Weekly that she is much more vocal at home, but on the campaign trail lets Donald do the talking.
“I give him ideas, and I give him my opinions,” she told the outlet. “I’m very political. I’m not political in public, I’m political at home.”
For months, Melania Trump had been playing a very important but behind-the-scenes role on Donald’s campaign. While Donald has been dominating headlines, eating up nearly all the news programming for the Republican race, and even appearing on Saturday Night Live, Melania Trump has mostly stayed behind to take care of the family.
“It’s my choice not to be there [on the campaign trail],” Melania told Barbara Walters in an interview for 20/20. “I support my husband 100 percent, but… we have a nine-year-old son together, Barron, and I’m raising him.”
“This is the age he needs a parent at home,” she added.
But Melania Trump is far from a wet blanket. While she isn’t joining Donald Trump on the campaign trail too often, she is one of the biggest reasons why he’s running for president in the first place.
“I encouraged him because I know what he will do and what he can do for America,” she said. “He loves the American people, and he wants to help them.”
Melania has also helped coach Donald a bit during debates, including telling Donald he can afford to “tone it down a bit on occasion,” advice Donald said he could understand.
But it is likely Donald Trump’s ability to speak off the cuff and divert far from party lines that has helped his campaign. His controversial call to ban non-U.S. Muslims from entering the country earned him plenty of scorn from opponents but has resonated with voters, with polls showing more than 60 percent of Republican voters agree with him.
Trump is also not afraid to buck the party on issues, including standing behind Planned Parenthood when other Republicans have condemned the organization.
Through the scorn Melania Trump has stood by her husband, saying he is often treated unfairly by the media.
“He’s not [nasty],” Melania said. “He has a big heart and [a] very warm heart. You see who he is on the campaign trail all the time and on television, and I think — you know America needs a strong leader and a tough leader and [he] knows what he’s doing.”
If the rest of the Republican primary follows along the same path, then Donald Trump’s wife may be taking an even bigger role and come next January there could be an even bigger job for Melania Trump — First Lady.
[AP Photo/Evan Agostini]