U.S. Sen. John Cornyn wraps up his keynote address to delegates at the Republican Party of Texas convention in Dallas on May 13, 2016
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn wraps up his keynote address to delegates at the Republican Party of Texas convention in Dallas on May 13, 2016. Photo by Bob Daemmrich, courtesy of the Texas Tribune.

CLEVELAND — U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said Tuesday morning that the plagiarism charges against Melania Trump are a “trivial matter” and predicted they would not harm her husband’s standing with voters.

Donald Trump’s campaign was under fire over a speech his wife gave Monday night here at the Republican National Convention that was strikingly similar to remarks First Lady Michelle Obama delivered in 2008. Asked after a Texas delegation breakfast about the fiasco, Cornyn, the Senate Majority Whip, told reporters he had not seen a comparison of the two speeches but did not see much controversy there regardless. 

“Frankly, I think it’s a trivial matter that doesn’t count for much,” Cornyn said. “I think it’s just amazing the extent we’re being distracted from the most important issues.” 

Asked about the potential for the plagiarism allegations to distract from the convention, Cornyn suggested Trump’s campaign should get some leeway.

“These are not as easy to put on – conventions – as they look,” Cornyn said. “Of course the Democratic have a lot folks in lockstep, and I would say the Trump folks are a lot newer at this, and maybe there’s a few stumbles here and there.”

Voters, Cornyn concluded, “won’t care a flip about the speech last night.”

Earlier, Cornyn was asked if the convention was “in trouble” after Monday, which also included vocal opposition on the floor from anti-Trump delegates.

“Oh, no,” Cornyn replied with a wink. “This is a normal convention.”

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This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune – a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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Top image: U.S. Sen. John Cornyn wraps up his keynote address to delegates at the Republican Party of Texas convention in Dallas on May 13, 2016.  Photo by Bob Daemmrich, courtesy of the Texas Tribune. 

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Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune

Patrick Svitek is the primary political correspondent for The Texas Tribune and editor of The Blast, the Tribune's subscription-only daily newsletter for political insiders.