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For their first debate, LR’s nominee candidates are struggling to differentiate themselves

A very long debate, but few differences. The five candidates for the LR nomination for the presidential election clashed this Monday evening during their first televised debate. Xavier Bertrand, Valérie Pécresse, Michel Barnier, Eric Ciotti and Philippe Juvin spoke for more than three hours in the program organized by LCI, RTL and Le Figaro. Attacks against Emmanuel Macron, weapon passing on the costing of the project, criticism against Eric Zemmour … 20 Minutes looks back on the highlights of the evening.

  • Emmanuel Macron, target of all candidates

It is not known if the President of the Republic was in front of his television set, but the ears of the Head of State must have whistled. It was Valérie Pécresse who opened fire first, criticizing his budget management: “Emmanuel Macron burned the fund”, launched the president of Ile-de-France, criticizing “the presidential patronage” of recent months. “France is over-indebted because none of the structural reforms that it was supposed to lead has not been made,” added Xavier Bertrand, referring to the pension reform. “With Mr. Macron, you now have Christmas in September, Christmas in October, Christmas in November,” he continued, referring to the various aids distributed by the executive, such as the fuel check.

  • Pécresse-Barnier pass on the costing of the project

The first slightly muscular exchange, the only one of the evening, took place between Valérie Pécresse and Michel Barnier. “Michel did not say how he would finance his measures…”, rebuked the candidate from Ile-de-France. “We can no longer afford to increase our debt,” she insisted, implicitly criticizing the costing of her colleague’s program and defending, for her part, the elimination of nearly 200,000 civil servant posts. The former negotiator, fearless, replied that we should not make untenable promises to the French.

  • Eric Zemmour and the “great replacement” invite themselves to the debate

Eric Zemmour’s name was cited after about an hour of debate. Asked about the thesis of the “great replacement”, defended by the polemicist, Michel Barnier was annoyed. “I do not like this expression, because it is used by a person, who does not have the same history as us, who confuses Pétain and de Gaulle and who has a vision of permanent stigmatization of society”, ruled l ex European Commissioner. “I hate this expression because it gives the feeling that everything is screwed up,” said Valérie Pécresse. Same tone at Xavier Bertrand: “Mr. Zemmour, it is the failure of Mr. Macron. The French simply want us to take control of our migration policy ”.

The three favorites have also considered the former journalist of the Figaro and quasi-presidential candidate as a political “opponent,” unlike Eric Ciotti. The member for the Alpes-Maritimes is the only one who has explicitly used this formula: “Yes, our society is changing.” […], I’m not afraid of words. “

  • Candidates who have difficulty distinguishing themselves from one another

Overall, the five candidates struggled to make their differences heard on immigration, security, nuclear power, foreign policy or purchasing power… “I think we all agree, this is not the case. hardly stand out unnecessarily. We each have measures, but the philosophy is the same… ”, also launched Eric Ciotti, during the discussions on the security issue. As a symbol of the past three hours.


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