BERWYN, Pa. — Melania Trump promised to work against cyberbullying and for a more civil society as first lady in a speech Thursday, saying “our culture has gotten too mean and too rough” – sounding nothing at all like her husband, whose history of insults and name-calling is a central part of his candidacy for president.

“As adults, many of us are able to handle mean words, even lies,” she said in a speech aimed at winning over more female voters. “They hurt when they are made fun of or made to feel less in looks or intelligence. We have to find a better way to talk to each other, to disagree with each other, to respect each other.”

As she called for civility, even some supporters listening to her rare public speech in this suburban battleground were critical of the crude language her husband has used, including calling women “Miss Piggy” and “dogs.”

“I am a woman, and of course it bothers me,” said Victoria Granero, 60, who still plans to vote for Trump. Noting that the Republican presidential nominee is trailing badly with female voters and that his wife offered a refreshingly different approach – her words carefully considered and her talk focusing on children and kindness – Granero was puzzled about only now getting to hear from Melania Trump.

“Why didn’t he send her out earlier?” said Granero, a travel consultant. “I don’t think she can help him now. It’s too little, too late.”

Other women found it particularly ironic that Melania Trump would champion ending bullying on the Internet if her husband wins the White House next Tuesday.

Nancy Lorback, a Democratic activist, laughed when she heard about it.

“What about the tone and voice he uses? He tells people to ‘sit down,’ ‘shut up.’ He tries to intimidate people. He says about a woman, ‘She is Miss Piggy,’ ‘She is not a 10,’ ” said Lorback, 70, who is working on voter turnout.


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