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Macron and Le Pen Through to Final Round; Two Outsiders Defeat France's Political Elite; A Life Amid the Stars. Aired 2-2:30p ET

Aired April 24, 2017 - 14:00   ET


[14:00:00] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Tonight, EU leaders breath a small sigh of relief but still holding their breath ahead of the crucial

second round of French presidential elections between the pro-Europe centrist Emmanuel Macron and the anti-EU far right national front leader

Marine Le Pen.

I'm joined in Paris by Macron's spokeswoman Laurence Haim and the National Front's general secretary Nicolas Bay.

Plus, for the first time in 60 years, both the main socialist and conservative party list finds themselves out in the cold. Will it break?

France's bureaucratic log jam Senator Nathalie Goulet joins me to discuss.

Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.

The race is on between two wildly different visions for France as political outsiders Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen head for an election

run-off, May 7th.

One a centrist, pro-Europe, former investment banker who promised to transform the political life of France.


EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, EN MARCHE (through translator): The challenge now is to put a total end to the system which

has failed to solve our problems for more than 30 years.


AMANPOUR: His challenger, the far-right National Front Marine Le Pen promising a very different transformation running on a anti-Europe, anti-

immigrant pro-Putin populist platform.


MARINE LE PEN, FRENCH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, FRENCH NATIONAL FRONT (through translator): Whether we continue to disintegrate without any

borders, without any controls, de-localization, unfair international competition, mass immigration and the free circulation of terrorist, or you

chose France.


AMANPOUR: European leaders are daring to hope that Macron will win as poll shows predict he will. And the French President Francois Hollande says for

my part, I'll vote for Emmanuel Macron. But nothing in this unpredictable political season is being taken for granted.

Joining me now to discuss Macron's strategy, his spokeswoman Laurence Haim.

And welcome to the program from Paris.

LAURENCE HAIM, MACRON CAMPAIGN SPOKESWOMAN: Let me ask you, were you as surprise as everyone else that your candidate came out ahead, now three

points ahead. And are you taking this for granted?

No, we're not taking that for granted. And we're extremely serious about what's happening from now on.

This is a serious time for the French people and for France and also for Europe. We are expecting to win, but we did not know that we are going

to be ahead. That we didn't know that we are going to be in front of Marine Le Pen.

And now, we feel again a responsibility to convince voters in France and all the people in France who believe in democracy to come to us and to

vote for us. It's not a win-win situation. You know and I know that in elections, you may have a lot of surprise. So we're looking at what's

happening. We're extremely focus. We're going to stay focus in the next two weeks and we're going to make sure that we're showing to the world the

best image of France which is democracy against the National Front, against the far-right.

So what do you make of the other leaders who were defeated, who didn't make it to the second round. Most of them, everyone, in fact, except the far

left leader Melenchon have said to their voters, it is now time to vote for Mr. Macron. We must stop the tide of extremism.

Are you relying on their votes?

HAIM: We're relying on each vote, but what we make of this transformation of the political life in France is that Emmanuel Macron, one

year ago, didn't have a party. He didn't a movement. He's 39 years old. And, again, last year, he decided (INAUDIBLE) 2016 to launch En March.

One year after, this is completely historical what's happening in France. He did something. He believed in the power of the people. He told the

people you want a renewal in politics, you want to see new faces, you want to transform the system, you know Europe and France are different from the

United States. It's extremely difficult to do politics in France when you don't have a party.

[14:05:00] Emmanuel Macron did it. He's doing it. This is again, a kind of revolution, a democratic revolution and we're fighting for that and we

hope that all the people who voted for different candidates understand also the responsibility they have at this moment to show to the world the best

face of France.

AMANPOUR: So let me ask you that one of the most extraordinary facts is that polls have said around 39, nearly 40 percent of France's millennial,

the young people between the ages of 18 and 24 prefer Marine Le Pen.

How will Mr. Macron, himself, a young person, get them on to his side? And how will he convince them that after all these broken promises to fix labor

laws, to fix the, you know, employment situation that he's the one who's going to be able to crack the system finally.

He has also a lot of few people for him, Christiane. I know that you're looking at the polls, but we're looking also at what's happening on

the ground. And so the first time we also have young people want Emmanuel Macron and left France, because they don't have a job. They went for

instance to London and they want to come back to France because they believe that Emmanuel Macron is going to deeply reform the way we're

walking in France.

Emmanuel Macron is saying to them and to a lot of people, we're going to do something different about the labor laws in France which is, as you

know, very, very difficult challenge.

The young people sometimes like when you ensure them. The middle class sometimes like hopefully messages. We're trying to find out and

we're trying to again, in a positive way, show to the people that we have a strong message compared to Marine Le Pen, that we really believe in a

strong Europe and that we're going again to do the best for France and for the future.

We understand the world in its globality and that's what's important. And we absolutely convince Emmanuel Macron that we have the best message of

hope for a new generation, who believes in France, in democracy and in a strong Europe because this is the big difference between us and Marine Le


Last week, Marine Le Pen was on the set, in a very important evening news. And she has the people on this evening news to remove from the set

the European flag. Us, in our meetings, we have the European flag.


HAIM: This election is now also about the future of Europe.

AMANPOUR: So let me then ask you this, she beat Macron over the head with the European flag. She says see, he cares more about Europe than he does

about France. As she says and her people say, he wants unlimited immigration and he's weak on terrorism. That's all the stuff that she said


How will you answer that?

HAIM: He's not weak on terrorist. This is his first priority. I'm sure that your viewers remember very well what's happen in Paris, that

terrible attacks at the Bataclan. That night, remember, that there was a man and an special, unique force there had, like Special Forces in France,

we did an extraordinary job fighting the terrorist who attacks us.

Two weeks ago, the leader of the Red (ph) (INAUDIBLE), came to us and said I never did politics but I want to bring my experience to your team.

Now (INAUDIBLE), the former commander of the Red (ph), he's with us. He's advising Emmanuel Macron about terrorism. Emmanuel Macron saying that

terrorism is a key issue in this election.

And let me tell you something, he said to the people in the past week after the recent attack that he's going to do everything in his power to

prevent other attacks. It's very difficult. It's going to be very hard and he will create and he announced that at (INAUDIBLE), a special task

force dedicated to fight terror that has never been done before. This is one of the top priority of Emmanuel Macron.

AMANPOUR: We hear you loud and clear.

Laurence Haim, thank you so much for joining us from Paris.

Now Marine Le Pen as we say poses as the people's revolutionary, the true patriot ready to slay savage globalization as she calls it,

immigration and the EU.

Nicolas Bay, general secretary of her far-right National Front joined me earlier.


AMANPOUR: Nicolas Bay, welcome to the program.

Marine Le Pen told CNN after Donald Trump won the election in the United States that there was a new world of like-minded politicians like herself.

After last night's result, do you still believe that to be the case? Are you as confident?

NICOLAS BAY, GENERAL SECRETARY, NATIONAL FRONT (through translator): Yes. Undeniably in France as elsewhere in the world, that's true. A

patriotic dynamics.

The French people want to take over its own destiny, and Marie Le Pen who has been passed into the second round is starting a new campaign for two

weeks and that's proof that France wants change.

Emmanuel Macron represents cash, the system on the one hand. He wants to abolish every kind of protection, which will dislocate the nation. On the

other side, Marine Le Pen is the candidate for the French nation, protecting the people.

AMANPOUR: Let me take a few of your points.

First of all, you used the word patriot and so does she.

Are you saying only she is the patriot and only the people who vote for her are French patriots?

BAY (through translator): No, I'm not saying they are not patriots supporting other candidates, of course. But one can say that Emanuel

Macron, there's nothing patriotic in his party.

AMANPOUR: Mr. Bay, can I ask you, what you feel about even politicians on the right like Francois Fillon, who came in third. He is

saying that he's urging all conservative voters to vote for Macron, because he wants to keep extremism as he said is represented by Marine Le Pen out

of the Elise.

Are you concerned that almost all the party leaders are asking their people to vote for Macron in the second round?

BAY (through translator): No, I'm not worried, because the truth is, to vote Macron, representatives of the socialist party. In other words,

those for Emmanuel Macron is a synthesis, but the question is, is Francois Fillon credible.

AMANPOUR: Mr. Bay, you're absolutely right. People want change. They are fed up with the system. But can I ask you to comment on this.

Mr. Fillon who knows a thing or two about finances and the economy. He's been prime minister before has said that Marie Le Pen's programs would

bankrupt France.

How do you answer that?

BAY (through translator): Well, I would say that Francois Fillon is in a bad position for giving lessons on economics. He was five years prime

minister and the result of the five years is forming an extra unemployed, 600 billion in debt and extra taxes. I don't think he's in a good position

to give lessons to Marie Le Pen.

AMANPOUR: So let me play you a little bit of an interview on the idea of the economy and the EU, which he said to me in February, and then we can

discuss it.


LE PEN (through translator): If I can recover this sovereignty, I think the Europe will change completely. It will change erratically. And

if I cannot get the sovereignty back, then I will ask the French people to leave the EU.


AMANPOUR: So is that -- Marine Le Pen is telling people that she wants to reform Europe or have a referendum, and if not, pull out of the


Is that still a central plank of your party, to pull out of the EU?

BAY (through translator): A fundamental element of Marine Le Pen's project is to get our sovereignty back. Either it can change or we could

be, you know, profoundly reform the EU. If not possible, then Marine Le Pen will suggest to referendum to the French people to leave the European

Union, to then build this Europe of cooperation. But, anyway, it will then be the French people through referendum who will have the last word,

because Marine Le Pen, in all circumstances, in particular the major ones with the future of the country sometimes over decades, wants the French

people to choose through referendum.

AMANPOUR: Lastly, about immigration, she's staked out a very firm and hard position. She says that she's going to suspend or possibly might

suspend all legal immigration, and just today she gave an interview to our sister station BFM, accusing Macron of being, quote, "Weak on terrorism."

She's talked about closing down Islamist mosques, stripping dual citizenship from certain citizens.

Is that what you're going to campaign on?

BAY (through translator): It's one of the fundamental elements of the presidential campaign. The French are very worried to see terrorist

attacks multiply on our territories.

For two years now, France has had 142 people killed, hundreds are injured by actions from Islamist factions we've allowed to prosper in France. So

we have to control that. We have to be without pity for extremists. And expel systematically all foreigners who are link these Islamist links.

And they must go out of the national territory and they have to be under control. And also we must settle the problem upstream in other words. The

question of immigration, which is anarchy, massive uncontrolled and within which, within these migrant flows, there are many Jihadists who take

control come to France.

[14:15:00] The EU has imposed upon us free movement of people, lowering our borders, and the result is that we get delinquents, terrorists freely

moving around and arms and it's no longer possible.

France has to re-arm itself, protect itself and that's the main project.

AMANPOUR: Nicholas Bay, thank you very much indeed for joining us.


AMANPOUR: And there will be yet another election the following month for the all-important parliament. We'll examine what it will take for an

outsider to actually govern, next.

But first, we take a moment to honor Holocaust Day. Today, as it does every year, Israel froze in time for two minutes of silence to remember the

6 million Jews killed in the holocaust during World War II.

Relating that horror to today, Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin said that as Jews, they must also speak up about the

atrocities happening next door in Syria.


REUVEN RIVLIN, PRESIDENT OF ISRAEL (through translator): We therefore cannot remain silent when facing the atrocities that are perpetrated in

distant places and definitely not the ones that take place just on the other side of the fence.

Maintaining our human image is the great feat of heroism bequest to us by the victims of the holocaust and by you, the survivors of the holocaust.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.

From victory parties last night to the morning commute, French voters are preparing themselves for a final two weeks of campaigning before the

crucial second round runoff election.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Immigration is a horror. They have all the rights and the French have fewer rights. Either way, we

have to give her a shot. We have tried the right, the left. It never worked. It sunk us. With Marine, we'll thrive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I'm quite happy because I voted Emmanuel Macron. And I think it's a big great message for Europe.

This is a great message for all around the world that populists are not winning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I'm a bit disappointed. I would have preferred Melenchon to get through. He's stronger than Macron.

And Le Pen, she's not my thing.


AMANPOUR: So will people for the first time choose the National Front or hold back the far right tide?

Nathalie Goulet is a centrist, French senator and she joins me live from Paris by Skype. Welcome to the program.


AMANPOUR: From Normandy, sorry. Nathalie, you are in your constituency in Normandy. So what do you think, the morning after, will

the sort of anti-National Front front join as they usually do in the second round, and deny her the win or not? What do you think?

GOULET: I think we have to be very careful because, you know, the candidates, they don't own the elector. And a lot of them already say that

they will not back Macron. Some from Fillon, of course Melenchon, but also Dupont-Aignan, which make almost four person so we are not sure now. And

you know that as a French society, it's not at ease with itself. So I think that we have to be very careful.

AMANPOUR: Can I ask you about the shooting just before the election.

You know, I think there are a lot of people who thought that it might affect the outcome of the first round, whether it was in turn out, whether

it meant which candidate would benefit if you like from the shock of that.

Is France a frightened country? How is France dealing with this periodic violence?

GOULET: Well, I think that the previous government -- I mean, the current government is extremely well. You know, you know the story as good

as myself, because you were up the stage during Bataclan. But since Bataclan, we make a lot of progress.

The police react very quickly. We spend more than 1 billion. And when I was listening five minutes ago on the National Front, speaking about the

way that we deal with terrorism, I was shock because really the country is as safe of any other one.

AMANPOUR: So you believe that that's made a lot of progress.

What about you are a parliamentarian, you're a senator, you're in the Assembly National. That is where legislation is going to happen. Neither

Marine Le Pen nor Emmanuel Macron have deputies.

I mean, she has two, he has none. He has no actual party. What happens next? What do you expect to happen when the parliamentary elections are

held in June?

GOULET: Just one thing. Next time that you have somebody from Marine Le Pen asking for more criminalization of criminal law, you have to remind

her that she never vote a single one, none in the Senate, none in the (INAUDIBLE) and none in the open parliament.

Now the next president will badly need working parliament with a majority. And that will be a really challenging. Otherwise, it will be like a lame

duck president. You know, we need a majority. And right now, we don't know how Emmanuel Macron will build it.

AMANPOUR: So what will happen if they don't have a majority?

GOULET: Well, what we can have if the election is planned from officials, we may have 100 MP from National, because you know, one

candidate on one constituency can stable the second round. You can make 12.5 percent of the ballot. So we may have this kind of proceeding help

the National Front and its benefit to National Front. So we are now to be very careful for how the next president will build its majority and it's

not done yet. Not at all.

AMANPOUR: Whatever and whoever becomes the leader.

How will -- Nathalie, finally, how will anybody, whatever power they have, actually break the bureaucratic paralysis to get the unions not to put

people in the streets, to not, you know, stop the next president from trying to do the right thing regarding labor laws and the like?

GOULET: Well, somebody like Melenchon can really disturb the old process. And I think that we are half from a peaceful society right now.

So how I don't know. But what has been done has to be done very, very quickly during the 100 first day of mandate, otherwise it can be a mess.

AMANPOUR: Nathalie Goulet, on that note, thank so much, as always.

And when we come back, women reaching new heights. Imaging the one dominating the cosmos now. That's next.


[14:25:55] AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, we imagine a life with the stars. The real stars. For astronaut Peggy Whitson it is just another day

at the office. But today, she broke the American record for her very own space odyssey, 535 days up there.

It's been a meteoric rise for the first woman to command the International Space Station. She told CNN how she got there from her birthplace in

Bakersfield, Iowa; population less than 20.


PEGGY WHITSON, FIRST WOMAN TO COMMAND THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION: I don't know. I think it's kind of a miracle actually. I think the

dedication and work ethic that I learned growing up on the farm, maybe a healthy dose of stubbornness kept me on a path that I got very lucky in the

end. And I was selected to be an astronaut. So it's pretty amazing. Really quite unbelievable.


AMANPOUR: Spoken like a woman on a mission.

And, today, she received a call from President Donald Trump, in the Oval Office with his daughter, Ivanka. He congratulated her on this stunning

achievement of science, which is pretty ironic, really, considering that this weekend thousands of people in 500 cities across the world took to the

streets to stand up for science and real facts, which they believe to be under threat from the Trump administration cast.

It took place on earth day, and there were lots of signs pleading for the Trump administration to heed the science and the warnings and to stick with

the landmark Paris Climate Accords.

That's it for our program tonight. Remember, you can always listen to our podcasts, see us online and follow me on Facebook and

Twitter. Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.