After months of accusing Vladimir Putin of interfering in the US election, former US president Barack Obama has openly endorsed Emmanuel Macron for French president, saying that “he is committed to a better future for the French people.”
Obama posted a video Thursday morning giving his support to Macron, the centrist liberal candidate who is running against the nationalist candidate Marine Le Pen.
“I know that you face many challenges and I want all of my friends in France to know how much I am rooting for your success,” Obama said, adding “Because of how important this election is, I also want you to know I am supporting Emmanuel Macron to lead you forward. En march. Vive la France.”
Obama added that Macron “appeals to people’s hopes and not their fears.”
“He has stood up for liberal values. He put forward a vision for the important role that France plays in Europe and around the world.”
Macron immediately tweeted the video out:
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) May 4, 2017
Obama noted that “I’m not planning to get involved in many elections anymore, now I don’t have to run for office again.”
The hypocrisy of Obama inserting his voice into another nation’s election wasn’t lost on many:
Interfering with French election (as he did Israeli election and Brexit when President). No problem. https://t.co/Fh1n4LBH9G
— Randy Barnett (@RandyEBarnett) May 4, 2017
Oh weird, interfering in another nation's election… https://t.co/pbUFbOLjBW
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) May 4, 2017
Has a former president explicitly endorsed a candidate in another country's election before? Strange times. https://t.co/tztNU0eC7f
— Josh Douglas (@JoshuaADouglas) May 4, 2017
trying to think of last big endorsement obama gave that panned out; more difficult than you'd expect https://t.co/ePXU6sA51l
— Justin Sink (@justinsink) May 4, 2017
do French people care what he thinks? https://t.co/AymqRihTnD
— Alexander Kaufman (@AlexCKaufman) May 4, 2017
"He has stood up for liberal values." Has Obama ever publicly used "liberal" like this in the US context? https://t.co/p5Q48HMiUD
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) May 4, 2017
So it seems that it is only deemed “interference” in an election when the Russians do it.
President Trump has not commented directly on the French election, except to opine that the terror attack in Paris last month would help Le Pen because “she is the strongest on borders and she is the strongest on what’s been going on in France.”
Obama’s intervention comes on the heels of Macron and Le Pen debating on live television in France, during which Macron lashed out at Le Pen’s supporters, branding them “anti-France,” “Hateful Cowards,” and “true enemies”.