The press ops of almost every presidential campaign have one familiar element: wives of candidates appearing next to their husbands throughout the inevitable highs and lows experienced during the race for the White House.
Michelle Obama is a prime example, standing next to Barack Obama throughout both of his successful bids for office and appearing in a number of solo engagements. An influential and popular figure, she made and continues to make a number of public appearances without her husband, giving talks and lectures across the world and spearheading campaigns as First Lady of the United States.
But Donald Trump has cut a singular figure throughout his own campaign, even during its most controversial moments. His wife Melania Trump has made just a few public appearances, most notably during a sit-down interview with Barbara Walters in November.
Donald Trump's most controversial quotes
Donald Trump's most controversial quotes
1/14 On Isis:
"Some of the candidates, they went in and didn’t know the air conditioner didn’t work and sweated like dogs, and they didn’t know the room was too big because they didn’t have anybody there. How are they going to beat ISIS?"
2/14 On immigration:
"I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me —and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words."
3/14 On Free Trade:
"Free trade is terrible. Free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people. But we have stupid people."
PAUL J. RICHARDS | AFP | Getty Images
4/14 On Mexicans:
"When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists."
5/14 On China:
"I just sold an apartment for $15 million to somebody from China. Am I supposed to dislike them?... I love China. The biggest bank in the world is from China. You know where their United States headquarters is located? In this building, in Trump Tower."
6/14 On work:
"If you're interested in 'balancing' work and pleasure, stop trying to balance them. Instead make your work more pleasurable."
7/14 On success:
"What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate."
8/14 On life:
"Everything in life is luck."
9/14 On ambition:
"You have to think anyway, so why not think big?"
10/14 On his opponents:
"Bush is totally in favour of Common Core. I don't see how he can possibly get the nomination. He's weak on immigration. He's in favour of Common Core. How the hell can you vote for this guy? You just can't do it."
11/14 On Obamacare:
"You have to be hit by a tractor, literally, a tractor, to use it, because the deductibles are so high. It's virtually useless. And remember the $5 billion web site?... I have so many web sites, I have them all over the place. I hire people, they do a web site. It costs me $3."
12/14 On Barack Obama:
"Obama is going to be out playing golf. He might be on one of my courses. I would invite him. I have the best courses in the world. I have one right next to the White House."
13/14 On himself:
"Love him or hate him, Trump is a man who is certain about what he wants and sets out to get it, no holds barred. Women find his power almost as much of a turn-on as his money."
14/14 On America:
"The American Dream is dead. But if I get elected president I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before and we will make America great again."
“Because of who my husband is, and our life, and also he is number one in the polls - well, you take that all together, and people are very curious about me,” she explained.
“I'm choosing not to go political in public because that is my husband's job. I'm very political in private life, and between me and my husband I know everything that is going on. I follow from A to Z.
“But I chose not to be on the campaign. I made that choice. I have my own mind. I am my own person, and I think my husband likes that about me.”
Ms Trump, an architecture graduate, former model and designer from Slovenia, backed her husband’s campaign despite his provocative views on immigration and his internationally condemned calls for Muslims to be banned from entering the US.
“He is not politically correct, and he tells the truth,” she insisted. “Everything is not roses and flowers and perfect, because it is not. He wants America to be great again, and he can do that.”
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