Presidential: A First Debate Punctuated by Punchlines

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The first debate on television of the presidential candidates

Within five weeks of the first round of presidential elections, the top five candidates met last night on TF1, time of unprecedented confrontation.

Succession of monologues or exchanges crossfire? We wondered, before the debate on the forms it would take. After a timid start policed, candidates did not hesitate to call.

“Drugged to miscellaneous facts”

This is especially Marine Le Pen and his excesses which were the subject of remonstrances from its competitors. Accusing him of being “drugged on miscellaneous facts” Benoît Hamon was the quickest to point his comments “nauseating” and denouncing its “electoral commerce” on the issue of immigration.

Very offensive, the PS candidate then targeted Emmanuel Macron on the financing of his campaign.


Just before the candidate of En Marche had to ward off another attack from Marine Le Pen about secularism and Burkini: “The trap you’re falling, Ms Le Pen, for your provocations, is to divide society.”

“Who pays you? “

Skirmish between Benoît Hamon and Emmanuel Macron. The PS candidate questioned the “lobbies” that finance the campaign of former economy minister. “My campaign is financed from the first day by individuals, responded Macron.

All names have been forwarded to the National Commission. “ Macron spoke of ” 32,000 people who gave. ” He did not reveal the names because the identity of donors is “protected by law” . Benoît Hamon drove home the point: he fears that powerful donors influence the policy of the elected president. “I pledge not to be kept by anyone,” assured the candidate of En March!

“Modesty gazelle”

Without waiting for the affairs that affect are put on the table, François Fillon announced that if elected he will set up a “commission” charged with making proposals on “transparency in public life.” Composed of the Vice President of the State Council, the first President of the Court of Auditors and the prosecutor at the Court of Cassation, “it will submit its proposals to Parliament.”

Jean-Luc Mélenchon advanced his: “We need a ban on making money through counseling when elected. The compensation mandates must be transparent. Finally, it should be forbidden to hire his family, “ he explained, before mocking ” the modesty of gazelle “ facilitators: ” Here, there are only two people involved and who have things to wrong, Mr. Fillon and Ms Le Pen. Voters know it. And it is not forbidden to reward the virtuous! “.

“A forced exile”

Immigration, real subject of controversy between the candidates. “I want to stop legal and illegal immigration,” announced Marine Le Pen wants to restore national borders and “cut suction pumps of immigration.”

François Fillon proposed to establish quotas “calculated and voted” by Parliament “according to the economic situation.” Emmanuel Macron defends “rigorous policy, farm,” but advocates the same time a certain humanism: “When someone flees a regime, it should be allowed under our principles.”


A proposal that would not deny Benoît Hamon and Jean-Luc Mélenchon who believe that France must be open to victims of wars and climate change. “People do not go on immigration for pleasure. It is a forced exile “, said the candidate of the rebellious France.

« Justice TGV »

Marine Le Pen denounced a “gigantic problem of private interests who are invited in this presidential election, and which will perhaps take the place of candidates who would have been elected,” implicitly to the former Minister of Economy.

“What you have described, these are conflicts of interest and it is characterized by law. So either you come to Ms. Le Pen is defamation, be more specific and go before the justice of our country and, in such cases, the court will make its job, as it is now to do with several candidates, “ replied the candidate of Power Up! Le Pen then quipped: “I hope she will be as fast as Fillon.” To which the latter added: “Yes, it’s called the TGV justice.”

“The sidereal void”

Marine Le Pen, the FN presidential candidate, has lectured on international policy to Emmanuel Macron, former minister pointing back their differences. “You have an incredible talent, you get to talk about seven minutes, I am unable to summarize your thinking, you have not said anything, it is the absolute vacuum, sidereal,” launched the President of the FN.


“If you do not understand that unlike you I do not want to compromise with Putin …,” immediately responded to Mr. Macron by the FN. “If you have not understood that, unlike you, I want a strong but responsible French policy, not ruin, not spending we do not know … finance,” added the former Minister of Economy.

“If you have not understood that, unlike you, I want a strong France in Europe, I fully assume, it is our great disagreement,” added Mr Macron. “It’s getting worse,” replied Ms. Le Pen. “It’s just that I do not agree with you,” insisted the candidate of  “En March”.

Secularism and provocations

The theme of secularism has resulted in some heated exchanges between Le Pen and other candidates. Emmanuel Macron, including, accused of being “for the burkini” by the president of FN, says he is not an issue of secularism but of public order.

“The trap that you’re falling in Mrs. Le Pen with your provocations is to divide society” and to “enemies of the Republic” of “more than 4 million French and French whose religion is Islam and who are, for the vast majority, absolutely not in communalism, “ he ruled. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, but believed that secularism was “strong”, warned that she did “not used as a pretext to attack a religion, plain against Muslims.”

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