Carrie Rengers

Phil Ruffin prepares to take the stage

Phil Ruffin wrote – and now is practicing – a speech to give Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention.
Phil Ruffin wrote – and now is practicing – a speech to give Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention. The Wichita Eagle

With all the fuss over Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention Monday night – there are accusations that she plagiarized from Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech – it got us wondering.

How’s Phil Ruffin’s speech coming along?

“I’m practicing,” says Ruffin, a close friend of Donald Trump.

Ruffin will talk at 8:23 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday. He says he has only four minutes to speak.

“I gotta rush through and say what I need to say,” he says. “We’ll see how it goes.”

Ruffin says he’s not nervous in any way.

“Everything will be just fine.”

Ruffin says he wrote his own speech.

“I wrote it out, and they refined it,” he says of campaign staff members. “We didn’t want people saying the same things.”

Ruffin says he was edited some.

“I was talking about the different deals,” he says of past Trump deals. “I was too specific.”

He was told those lines had to go.

“It didn’t make me super happy, but I accepted it,” he says.

He figures for people at the convention, it doesn’t matter anyway.

“They’re all busy talking, so they’re not really listening to every word you say.”

Still, he’s taking it seriously, which is why he says he’s got to go.

“I gotta memorize that speech, girl.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers

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