President Joe Biden said on Monday that he feels good about Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential election and that he tried to call him but Macron was too busy ‘having a good time’ at the Eiffel Tower to talk.
‘I feel good about the French election,’ Biden told reporters at Joint Base Andrews on his way back to the White House after a weekend in Wilmington, Del.
He said he tried to talk to Macron on Sunday night, after Macron was declared the winner over conservative challenger Marine Le Pen.
‘I tried to talk to him last night. I spoke to his staff and he was at the Eiffel Tower having a good time. And I’m going to be talking to him today,’ he said.
Macron celebrated his win with his wife Brigitte Macron at the Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower on Sunday night.
He gave his victory speech against the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower and a projection of the blue-white-and-red tri-colour French flag. Several hundred supporters cheered him on and waved French and EU flags.
French President Emmanuel Macron celebrates his re-election with his wife Brigitte Macron at the Champ de Mars near the Eiffel Tower on Sunday
President Joe Biden said he tried to call Emmanuel Macron to congratulate him on his victory but the French President was too busy ‘having a good time’ at the Eiffel Tower
President Macron gave his victory speech against the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower and a projection of the blue-white-and-red tri-colour French flag. Several hundred supporters cheered him on and waved French and EU flags
Biden did tweet his congratulations on Sunday: ‘Congratulations to @EmmanuelMacron on his re-election. France is our oldest ally and a key partner in addressing global challenges. I look forward to our continued close cooperation — including on supporting Ukraine, defending democracy, and countering climate change.’
Macron’s victory was a relief for Biden and the western allies.
Le Pen is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and there were fears the alliance against Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine would crumble if she won the French presidency.
During hr presidential campaign, Le Pen said she wanted to tamp down on ties with the European Union and NATO alliance, which allies saw as a threat.
Particularly as Le Pen also spoke out against EU sanctions on Russian energy supplies.
Final results of Sunday’s runoff showed Macron took 58.54% of the vote to Le Pen’s 42%. Macron was the first French president in 20 years to win re-election, since incumbent Jacques Chirac beat Le Pen’s father in 2002.
He acknowledged in his victory speech that many had voted for him mainly to thwart his far-right challenger.
‘Many in this country voted for me not because they support my ideas but to keep out those of the far right. I want to thank them and know I owe them a debt in the years to come,’ Macron said.
The White House also marked Macron’s victory on Sunday, when chief of staff Ron Klain pointed out Macron won another term despite low job approval numbers. Currently, Biden has some of the lowest approval ratings of his presidency.
‘An interesting observation, just FYI,’ Klain wrote on Twitter.
‘President Macron appears to have secured a double-digit victory over LePen, at a time when his approval rating is 36%. Hmmm….’
The tweet appeared to reference a Morning Consult weekly tracking poll of several major world leaders’ favorability within their own countries.
That survey has Biden with a 40 percent approval rating among American adults, four points better than Macron and eight above British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who ranks lowest on the list at 32 percent support.
Biden, 79, said he will run for a second term.
Biden and his fellow world leaders expressed relief at Macron’s win
Marine Le Pen is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and there were fears the Western alliance against Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine would crumble if she won the French presidency
Klain’s tweet referenced a Morning Consult poll that regularly ranks world leaders with polls of their own people. The latest update showed Biden with four percent more favorability among Americans than Macron has among French adults
Fellow world leaders appeared to share Biden’s relief at Macron’s victory.
‘Bravo Emmanuel,’ European Council President Charles Michel wrote on Twitter.
‘In this turbulent period, we need a solid Europe and a France totally committed to a more sovereign and more strategic European Union.’
‘Democracy wins, Europe wins,’ said Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Macron’s victory was a message of ‘strong commitment’ to the rest of Europe.
‘I am pleased that we will continue our good cooperation!’ Scholz wrote.
In his own congratulations to Macron, Britain’s Johnson wrote: ‘France is one of our closest and most important allies. I look forward to continuing to work together on the issues which matter most to our two countries and to the world.’
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi hailed Macron’s win as ‘wonderful news for all of Europe.