French nationalist Marion Marechal-Le Pen earned a warm reception at CPAC Thursday, despite numerous conservative pundits denouncing her appearance.
Le Pen mocked the criticism she was a “national socialist” and not a real conservative with the opening lines of her speech.
“Hello my fellow conservatives!” the 28-year-old National Front politician greeted the crowd. “I hope you see me as less terrifying than how the American media portrays me because it’s crazy. Yesterday, I was a fascist — today, I’m a socialist!”
The conservative crowd, for the most part, cheered for the niece of French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, and little in her speech sounded out of place in a setting like CPAC. The younger Le Pen emphasized Franco-American friendship, her support for President Trump, her nationalist opposition to globalism and her social conservatism.
“French blood was spilled on American soil when our friendship began. Over two centuries later, here at CPAC we are once again standing side-by-side for freedom. This freedom is a gift. Freedom of speech, freedom of conscience,” Le Pen said of France’s long relationship with America.
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