I can be France’s next president, says Le Pen

“France is at war against Islamist extremism,” Front National leader Marine Le Pen tells France’s Channel 2 in an interview Tuesday evening after the funerals of the four victims of Friday’s terror attack.

“The first victory is to know who’s your enemy,” an energized Le Pen says. “We need to act forcefully.” Le Pen seems understandably energized by the passing week’s tragic events, since polls three months ago put her as leading candidate for president and a new surge in anti-Islamic sentiment in France can only add wind to the sails of the far-right FN party.

Having long called for a tighter control of immigration, Le Pen tells Channel 2 that “the clear understanding is that war was declared by Islamist fundamentalists. We must return to our hands the control of our borders: to know who enters and who leaves our territory. No responsible country can think to fight terror without controlling borders.”

Le Pen says she feels she “can be France’s next president. If I wasn’t convinced the solutions I bring are the only ones that can bring security, prosperity and protection of our identity – since I think every nation has a right and duty to protect its identity – I would not go into politics.”

There would be a modicum of irony if the first woman president of France would hail — of all parties — from a far-right, and some would say overtly fascist — political movement. FN was a fringe party until polls in September showed Le Pen overtaking Hollande as candidate for president, as Hollande was embroiled in scandals over a book written by his ex wife and a failed reshuffle of his government.

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