As French voters head into Sunday’s runoff presidential election, far-right leader Marine Le Pen is banking on her “France first” attitude to become the first woman to win the Elysee Palace.
Le Pen , 53, whose rhetoric has at times been compared to that of former President Donald Trump, cast herself as the common people’s choice and focused her campaign around domestic concerns, such as the rising cost of living.
“There’s comparisons to Trump because, of course, her policies, broadly speaking, her rhetoric — she’s a big fan of Trump,” Clay Clemens, chancellor professor of government at the College of William and Mary, told the Washington Examiner .
As leader of the National Rally political party, formerly the National Front, Le Pen has over the years spoken highly of Trump and several of his policies, endorsing him for president in 2016 and lauding his plan to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement. In 2017, she compared her policies to “the policies represented by Mr. Trump” during an interview with BBC.
Unlike Trump, Le Pen has been involved in politics most of her life, inheriting the party her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, founded. Since taking over as head of the party in 2011, Le Pen changed its name and expelled her own father from the newly named party in 2015 for comments he made about the Holocaust.
“The trajectory is different because Le Pen has been around longer in politics than Trump was in politics and her movement and her party go way back to her father,” Clemens said. “It’s not the kind of novelty that Trump was in 2016.”
Le Pen, who once rallied for France to leave the European Union , has softened her rhetoric in an attempt to appeal to a wider base of voters for her third presidential […]
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