PARIS (AP) — Centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has launched a political offensive against far-right leader Marine Le Pen, saying her platform is based on the “hatred for others” in contrast to his desire to “calm” the country.
Macron and Le Pen, who took the first two spots in Sunday’s French presidential election first round, are facing off in the May 7 runoff.
Macron, seen as the front-runner in polls, said on French public television news Tuesday night that there are now “two clear offers that come face to face.”
He said that Le Pen and her anti-immigration anti-EU National Front party are campaigning on a platform of closing borders, weakening popular and middle classes and our economy.”
On the other side, Macron, a pro-business candidate, said he belongs to the “progressive camp” with a project “to make France succeed… in a stronger Europe.”
Macron accused the political establishment of “feeding” the National Front for years and waking up today with a “hangover” with Le Pen advancing to the runoff.
“We have collectively made the National Front normal,” he lamented, “but its ideology is not, the values of the National Front are not the values of the (French) republic.”