Melania Trump, largely absent from the US presidential campaign, stumped for her husband Donald for the first time Monday and called him a great leader who treats everyone equal. Looking to bounce back after a rocky week, Trump called his better half to the rescue. The 45-year-old former model of Slovenian origin is chic and stylish, but until now her public presence alongside her Republican frontrunner husband has been fleeting, including brief appearances at election watch parties.

Her interviews have been limited. But in the US state of Wisconsin, where polls show Trump trailing his arch-conservative rival Ted Cruz in the primary that the state hosts Tuesday, Melania is accompanying her husband at several campaign events. Trump, whose apparent degrading of women and controversial remarks about Mexicans and Muslims have raised alarm bells in the Republican Party and more broadly across the American electorate, has confided that his wife has encouraged him to be “more presidential.”

At a rally in Wisconsin, Mrs. Trump gushed praise of her husband, saying: “I’m very proud of him. He is a hard worker. He’s kind. He has a great heart. He’s tough. He’s smart.” She added: “He’s a great communicator. He’s a great negotiator. He’s telling the truth. He’s a great leader. He’s fair.” “As you may know by now, when you attack him, he will punch back ten times harder,” she said. “No matter who you are, a man, or a woman, he treats everyone equal.”

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