Melania Trump sends a message to mothers in RNC speech at White House Rose Garden

The White House Rose Garden was recently redone in the style of the original 1962 design.
/ Source: TODAY
By Samantha Kubota

First lady Melania Trump addressed the Republican National Convention on Tuesday night in a televised speech focused on the future and her plans for her "Be Best" initiative.

With a speech time of almost 26 minutes, one of her longest, she also recalled some of her favorite moments as first lady. In the audience were family, friends, some cabinet members and "Be Best" supporters.

She also noted how the coronavirus pandemic has affected all Americans.

"I want to acknowledge the fact that since March, our lives have changed drastically," she said. "The invisible enemy COVID-19 swept across our beautiful country and impacted all of us."

She added her "deepest sympathy" goes to people who have lost loved ones in the pandemic.

"I know many people are anxious and some feel helpless. I want you to know you’re not alone," she said. "My husband’s administration will not stop fighting until there is an effective treatment or vaccine available to everyone."

"Donald will not rest until he has done all he can to take care of everyone impacted by this terrible pandemic."

The first lady also sent a "special message" to mothers.

"This modern world is moving so fast and our children face challenges that seem to change every few months," she said. "Just like me, I know many of you watch how mean and manipulative social media can be. And just like me, I’m sure many of you are looking for answers, how to talk to your children about the downside of technology and their relationships with their peers."

First lady Melania Trump speaks during the Republican National Convention in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C.

She added that "like every parent in this country" she felt like there were not enough hours in the day to teach her son, Barron, everything he needs to know.

"I remind myself that I’m more fortunate than most and still have days that I look for wisdom and strength to do the very best I can for him," she added. "To mothers and parents everywhere, you are warriors."

In a break with political norms, the first lady addressed the RNC from the recently redone Rose Garden at the White House. The garden, which was redesigned to be in the spirit of the original 1962 design, took three weeks to finish, and reporters got a tour over the weekend ahead of the RNC.

"I am passionate about this beautiful house, the grounds and all they represent," she said in her speech Tuesday, adding she plans to continue her work to "restore the people's house."

"I believe this iconic home needs to be cared for and preserved so it can be enjoyed by the people of this country and visitors from around the world for years to come," she said.

It’s unusual for the White House to be used for expressly political events. The Hatch Act generally prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activities while on duty or in a government room or building, though the president and vice president are largely exempt from the law.

It's a regulation many presidents have flirted with violating, but the Trump family is the first to use the executive mansion for a political convention. President Donald Trump is slated to deliver his Thursday night speech from the White House South Lawn.

Melania Trump famously delivered a speech at the 2016 RNC that was strikingly similar to Michelle Obama’s 2008 address at the Democratic convention.

She told TODAY at the time that she wrote the speech largely on her own.

“I read once over it, and that’s all. Because I wrote it … with as little help as possible.”

Parts of Trump's 2016 speech about family values bore nearly identical phrasing to Obama's 2008 address.

Her speech this time around did discuss some family values, adding that her husband will "not stop fighting for you and your families."

It did not bear much resemblance to Michelle Obama’s address at the DNC last week. Obama’s speech included an indictment of President Trump's policies and character, accusing the White House of sowing "chaos" and "division" and showing a "total and utter lack of empathy."