French President Nicolas Sarkozy “bears the same initials as the Nazi Party, NS [the National Socialist party],” quipped Jean-Marie Le Pen, a right-wing French politician, on Tuesday.
In broadcast remarks, Le Pen joked that “bourgeois bohemians wear beards because it is a Muslim style” and that “they ride bikes, like NS,” referring to the president, who is an avid cyclist.
He then made light of his statement and half-apologized, explaining that Sarkozy’s campaign rally earlier in the week made him think of Nuremberg — a significant city in Nazi Germany that often held massive rallies.
Le Pen is the founder of the National Front. His daughter, Marine, will run against Sarkozy in the first round of elections for president starting Sunday. In the previous elections, she came in third, which was widely unexpected.