French Presidential hopeful Emmanuel Macron this week lashed out at Front National voters, branding them “anti-France” and “true enemies”.
In a moment resembling Hillary Clinton’s infamous “deplorables” comment, Mr. Macron — who currently leads Front National leader Marine Le Pen in the polls — took to the stage at a 10,000-strong rally in Paris to dub Front National the “anti-France party”, branding their supporters “fearmongerers” and “extreme”.
“They’re here. It’s they. It’s they who are our true enemies,” declared Mr. Macron.
“Powerful, organized, skillful, determined,” he said: “You pass them in the streets, in the countryside or on the web, most often well hidden. As hateful as they are cowardly. You know them. The party of the agents of the disaster, the fearmongerers. The French far-right. It’s here”.
The French Presidential favourite was joined on stage by the country’s Energy and Environment Minister Segolene Royal, when he called for “spirit of resistance” — a word often employed by hard-left “antifa” activists and Democrats insistent upon derailing the President Trump administration in the United States.
In September 2016, then-Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sneered at Republican supporters, calling them a “basket of deplorables”, branding them “racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic”.
“They use anger, they propagate lies. For decades they have fanned hatred, fomented divisions, imposed their discourse of discrimination,” Mr. Macron continued.
The former banker has long been known as the establishment’s candidate in France’s election, being preferred amongst the European Commission, and receiving the support of major figures across the entrenched political classes such as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former U.S. President Barack Obama.
While ahead in the polls, the En Marche! candidate has suffered setbacks in the final week of campaigning ahead of the second and final round of voting on Sunday.
When visiting a factory shortly after the first round of voting, Mr. Macron was jeered by workers who had recently been met by Marine Le Pen.
Ms. Le Pen, still the outsider, though narrowing the gap between the two, has attacked her opponent as soft on terrorism, and received the endorsement of first round eliminated Nicolas Dupont–Aignan, political grandson of former French leader Gen. Charles de Gaulle.
On Tuesday, celebrated French actress and model Brigitte Bardot slammed Mr. Macron on her Twitter feed, stating: “The contempt he gives to animal suffering can be seen in the total lack of empathy reflected in the coldness of his steel eyes.
“Whilst the scandals are increasing, he takes the side of the animal breeders and the hunters against animal rights associations that are fighting with the lobbies that seem to have power over this candidate.”
Ms. Bardot is a noted animal rights campaigner, and said of Ms. Le Pen: “I am very patriotic. I was raised by a father and a grandfather who fought for France and instilled in me a love of my homeland. I am not proud of what France is today… I’m not a ‘facho’ [fascist], any more than Marine Le Pen is.”
“Marine Le Pen has the will to take France in hand, to restore borders and give priority to the French.”
Campaigning ends in France on Friday night, with the election set to take place on Sunday.
Ben Kew contributed to this article