Return to Transcripts main page


Polls Closes in French Election, Awaiting Official Results; Macron Defeats Le Pen, Vote Estimate 65.9 Percent To 34.1 Percent; French President Hollande Congratulates Macron On Victory; France Rejects Far Right In Historic Election. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired May 7, 2017 - 14:00   ET


[14:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

We begin with breaking news. The polls are now closed in France's crucial presidential election after a bitterly fought campaign. We're waiting on early estimates now. It's an election that pitted the far right candidate Marine Le Pen against centrist, Emmanuel Macron. La pen, an admirer of President Donald Trump, campaigned on an anti- immigration and anti-European Union platform. Macron who has never held elected office came from the back of the pack calling for more tolerance and more globalization. In a twist that has stunned many political observers, France's two dominant mainstream parties were completely shut out of the final vote.

Let's get right to CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour who is at the Macron rally in Paris. So, Christiane, Emmanuel Macron wasn't even a contender early on at the race. How did we get to this point?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I cannot tell you the feeling here right now. The entire esplanade here, the Louvre Palace has exploded in joy. 65.9 percent for Emmanuel Macron according to the projections by our affiliate BFM TV. That is even more than he was expected to get in the last two weeks of the second round campaign. And Marine Le Pen, the extreme right wing nationalist, has got less than 40 percent.

This is a big, big deal. The entire world certainly the democratic world, certainly the western world, has been watching this election, because it is not just important for France, but for Europe and for everyone. This after the nationalist populace wave that started with Brexit traveled across the Atlantic to you with Donald Trump's victory has now halted for the moment this populace nationalist wave here in Europe.

And this make no mistakes about it was not just about two outsiders. This was about two dramatic opposing world views. Emmanuel Macron, 39-year-old who left the socialist party started his own En Marche movement forward just one year ago has managed to get to this point 65.9 percent according to the predictions right now to win an election that he wasn't even meant to be a proper candidate perhaps. Not even into the second round.

Marine Le Pen whose entire political heritage is based on the extreme right wing movement of her father, Jean Marie Le Pen, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, inward-looking, nationalist, has lost this election. And so everybody around this country for sure, around Europe and around the rest of the democratic world, is breathing a sigh of relief. Because Marine Le Pen said that she would conduct radical policies, pull France out of the Euro, have a Frexit vote, potentially pulling it out of the EU. And with Brexit out, that, according to the EU would have collapsed the entire European Union project. Pull it out of NATO. Put up protectionist borders. All sorts of dramatic policies and immediate halt to immigration as well.

Emmanuel Macron exactly the opposite though knowing that he has to do something to address the economic issues and bring back more work for more people, especially young people in this country. Back to you.

WHITFIELD: So, Christiane, voter turnout expected to be somewhere in the upwards of 75 percent in France which is a huge number. While we're talking about these early estimates that right now put Macron in the lead, is there a way in which to express the kind of worry or concern across Europe pending whatever the outcome were to be here?

AMANPOUR: Well, here's the thing. It sounds like a massive turnout and of course it is compared to American turnout numbers and numbers in other countries. But in fact, it is quite lower than it was let's say in 2012. The last round of election. And it's lower than they expected for this second round. Because generally the second round has a slightly higher turnout. We had something like 80 percent or just over that for the first round two weeks ago. The big story of this round was that there was going to be a heavy abstention rate and that appears to have come true. And people, certainly in the Emmanuel Macron camp were incredibly worried that if there was a low turnout that would only benefit Marine Le Pen because her voters were committed. They were hardcore voters who were going to come to the polls no matter what.

And so many people after the first round said, you know, we are not going to come out and vote if it's these two candidates. They did though and they put him over the top. And that has really caused a huge sigh of relief around the majority of this country obviously, the majority of Europe, and presumably much of the rest of the democratic world.

WHITFIELD: All right. Christiane, again, final numbers are not in, but just looking at the pictures of the outpouring of support there at the Louvre there in that beautiful big courtyard-like park where so many people have turned out there in support of Emmanuel Macron, what have people there been saying about their candidate? Why it is they were in support of him as you look at this very diverse picture of supporters?

AMANPOUR: Well, you can see here that you've got, you know, thousands of the French trickle or the red, white, and blue being flown. Now, that's important because Marine Le Pen tried to, you know, claim patriotism for herself and her far right nationalist party. Macron has come out and said, "You can be patriotic and French and outward looking and have reformist programs." So the flying of the flag is actually quite important.

Not only that, the massive number of people who you can see on various cameras who are pouring into the Louvre esplanade right here. Now, just so we know, the Louvre is an ancient French palace. It is also the main museum. Tourist will know it for the Mona Lisa and all the other fantastic art that is house in this museum. So it's an ancient museum.

But in the center of it stands a fairly modern glass pyramid. So you've got old and new. You've got patriotic and reform. You've got all the symbolism that comes with what Macron is trying to tell the world for what he's trying to do. They chose this quite carefully. It is outside. They're lucky it wasn't raining. It's a little chilly, but that hasn't damped down the enthusiasm of the people who are literally, as I'm looking ahead of me, they're not just stacked up behind me. They are literally still pouring in, flooding in.

And I've been talking to a lot of my colleagues and I've covered French elections before. We haven't actually seen in the last 20, 30 years this kind of excitement for a second round and for, you know, people coming in from all over to see the results and come to this particular headquarters. The last time there was a risk of an extremist winning the French presidency was when Marine Le Pen's father made it to the second round in 2002. I covered that as well. At that time all the other parties, all of them, left, right, everybody, got together and told their voters to make sure the national front did not win. And therefore, Jacques Chirac who became president or was reelected then won by 82 percent. That was massive. This time it's still a big win for Macron but it's not as big.

And I guess, you know, history has moved forward a little bit. There were hundreds of thousands of French people who came out into the streets after the first round last time to say not in my name, no national front will win these elections. That did not happen this time. After the first round, there were no protests in the streets when she came in second and came into the final round of voting.

WHITFIELD: Now, it can't be overlooked, however, Christiane, the importance of the rise of Le Pen and the rise of this populace movement. It made a statement with her win to be in this runoff. But then now what does her potential defeat, again the numbers are not in, the estimates just show that Macron is in the lead, but if there is a potential defeat of Le Pen, what does that say about this populace movement?

AMANPOUR: Well, for now it says that when it comes to the French presidency, it didn't win. However, you're absolutely right. It has had more votes than ever before in history and therefore, the issues are still going to be out there competing. What will be very determinative is what happens at the end of June when the French go to yet another round of elections but this time for the parliament. The legislative election.

Because remember, there's only a couple of national fronts MPs, deputies, you know, represented elected officials inside the national assembly and there are no march representatives because it's never been tested by the public before. It's a brand new party. So Emmanuel Macron is hoping that he can gather a majority off the back of this election victory. Of course, we're waiting to see the full and final election results precisely. But he's hoping that once they get to June, he'll be able to get enough voters to be able to pass legislation. If not, he's going to have to go into all sorts of deals and coalitions on various issues with other parties. So we're going to have to wait and see how decisive his win translates into the as you would call it congressional elections in the United States, parliamentary elections here.

WHITFIELD: Christiane, Marine Le Pen ran on the idea of leaving the EU. You discussed with me some trepidation that other European countries had about the potential outcome if it were to be in the favor of Le Pen. Again, the numbers are still not in completely. Potentially, what does this French outcome, the new French president, mean for relations between the U.S. and France and potentially the rest of the European Union with France?

AMANPOUR: Well, look, this is going to be interesting because it was quite clear that President Trump probably saw Marine Le Pen as a soul sister. There was a lot of tweeting that went on. There was a lot of his advisers and others, like Steve Bannon and Breitbart and all the others actually throwing their weight behind Marine Le Pen. Because they saw it as a continuation of this so-called populace movement.

And even in the last few days, Nigel Farage of Britain threw his support behind Marine Le Pen too. It's important that he stayed away from her for a long time.

WHITFIELD: Christian, you're hearing potentially the cheers of what we're hearing is that estimates show that Macron -- the estimates are showing, according to our affiliates there that Macron has won. That's the final consensus from the estimates that we're hearing. Perhaps that is why you're hearing the cheers there at the Louvre, Christiane. She's trying to figure out from people around you.

AMANPOUR: We're seeing the cheers but we're hearing -- we're hearing boos because Marine Le Pen's face has just come on the face and an ally of hers just came out on television. And so we heard a lot of boos then and we just saw her face as well. So this is the, you know, the division that you see in France right now. And there obviously is going to be a lot of major effort to going into governing as we go forward, because there are issues. There are structural problems with the labor market, with the union.

So behind us, we have a Macron supporter --

WHITFIELD: So, Christiane, let me interrupt you while estimates show that Macron has won -- I want to interrupt you for a moment because Marine Le Pen apparently is speaking now. Let's listen in.

TRANSLATOR: Seen that we are the first opposition forces to take a new president. Take later formations who have supported Macron have discredited themselves and have lost all kinds of legitimacy in wanting a deep change or profound change. We have seen a major decomposition of French political life at the old traditional mainstream parties and what we see now is a real new configuration which is emerging, a rift between the patriots and the new liberals. This is what we're going to fight at the legislative assembly, legislative elections and I will head that and to make sure that all people who want the prosperity and security, the identity of France, which we are very concerned about at the beginning of this new five- year term.

And we have to renew our forces at this historic event and I propose, therefore, that we embark on a completely new phase for our party which the French want and which is absolutely necessary for the country to get on their feet again. Get on his feet again. I urge all my supporters to commit to this decisive campaign which is going to begin this evening and France will really need you in this. Long live the republic, long live France.

WHITFIELD: All right. You're listening to what sounds like a concession speech right there from 48-year-old Marine Le Pen, the nationalist right wing candidate. Now that we have estimates showing that she is defeated by Emmanuel Macron, the centrist and you heard her describe the landscape as the decomposition of political life. She pledged there to continue to be a part of the movement. She described an ongoing rift between, in her words, patriots and liberals.

So again, estimates now, final count in, we understand that Emmanuel Macron has won the French presidency in the second phase and final phase of voting.

Christiane Amanpour is there at the Louvre there in Paris which that esplanade is filled with supporters of Macron. Were people listening to Le Pen in that concession speech? I know you mentioned earlier her image appeared, people booed. Were they listening to what she had to say just now?

AMANPOUR: Not really. There was a different channel on while that was going on here. But, you know, it's interesting, you know, what she said. That was the divisive speech. She's talking about a conflict or divisions between patriots.

WHITFIELD: Patriots and liberals.

AMANPOUR: And the neoliberals progresses as she was saying. So that is obviously her trying to whip up her supporters for these legislative elections that I was talking about which are going to be decisive for the French national assembly and will basically set the stage for how the next president Emmanuel Macron will be able to govern.

So this is where we are there was no sort of -- she did congratulate him to be fair. She congratulated him. She has received a significant percentage less than she was hoping for. Obviously, she was hoping to win. But the pre-polls were suggesting she might get as many as 40 percent. And she's got at least according to right now in the 34 percent region. Again, we're waiting to find the actual final, final figures that they give us. But so far the polls and the exit polls have been --

OK. She's walking out now, and on the big screen there, they're showing her. There is a boo going up here. So just to show that this is divisive, this is divided, and people certainly here resent a lot about the national front, particularly the appeal to fear mongering, the anti-immigration platform that she ran on, and the very divisive platform that she ran on which to be frank was in very, very stark contrast to the whole -- to the forward looking, to the appeal to tolerance and reform that Emmanuel Macron ran on.

You know that politicians, for instance, President Obama, the former president, also taped an appeal for Macron and said that, you know, everybody was watching and that France was very important to America and to choose the politics of hope over fear. So too did the mayor of London. We know that he's sort of been in touch over the past few weeks or so. He also ran a very, very divisive campaign or rather the campaign against him was very, very divisive. He always goes out there, Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim mayor of London, to tout running and succeeding on the politics of hope and dismissing the politics of fear.

So here, this is what we have. We have these two world visions that are still in competition. Whether in Britain right now, whether in United States right now and in parts of Europe right now. So what France has done, coming after the Netherlands in March, coming after Austria before that, these three countries have said no to fear, no to xenophobia, no to hate and they have said no to this inward-looking nationalism. It doesn't mean to say everything's perfect and there's not a long way to go and a lot of work to be done to meet the legitimate needs of all the population. And to meet and to stop this growing inequality gap across our developed world.

But now, again, huge cheers going up because they're showing numbers. 65.5. and 35.5. Anyway, that's according to the screen behind me. That's not our -- that's not our affiliate but it's according to the screen behind me and that is what people are cheering.

WHITFIELD: Christiane Amanpour at the Louvre there in Paris. Again, supporters behind her, mostly of Emmanuel Macron. Early estimates or estimates now saying the final numbers are Macron would win the presidency there.

All right. Christiane, we're going to check back with you.

Let me bring in Tim Naftali, CNN presidential historian and former director of the Nixon presidential library and David Rohde, CNN global affairs analyst and David Andelman is the editor-emeritus at the World Policy Journal and a opinion contributor. All right. Good to see all of you.

David, let me begin with you because the work set out for Macron as a new president, do you see it as being particularly difficult coming off what has appeared to be a very divisive campaign and election?


WHITFIELD: We're going to work out those signals there. My French is not up to par right now.

David how about to you first, then, what kind of work is set out now, laid out for this new president elect, Emmanuel Macron, given that this election has been very divisive and has really showed a very divided country among the 67 million citizens of France?

DAVID ROHDE, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I think it's going to be, you know, very difficult. Sixty percent of the people who voted for Macron did so because they wanted specifically to stop Le Pen. Remember, the two, you know, all this was a massive vote against the traditional parties in France. Macron is only 39 years old. He's never had an elective office in France. He created his own political party. So there's a tremendous amount of dissatisfaction with economics.

Brexit was -- I agree with Christiane there's two very stark views that either from Le Pen and somewhat Trump, the globalization, global trade doesn't work. Whereas Macron is arguing he can make it work. How is Macron going to make that happen? How is he going to produce the high paying jobs that working class French miss, that working class Americans miss? How does he actually deliver now?

WHITFIELD: And, David, I understand you're back because my French is ne pas bien. There have been a lot of comparisons made between Donald Trump, the candidate, and Marine Le Pen. In fact, both in different ways have expressed a sort of admiration for the other. At least admiration. So now if this is Emmanuel Macron, the centrist who indeed has won here and estimates show that he has, how does Donald Trump reach out to the new French leader? How do they work together?

DAVID ADELMAN, CNN.COM OPINION EDITOR: well, they're going to have to work together. There's no question about that. It's very clear that president Obama came down very heavily on the side of now president- elect Macron. What is also interesting to notice is the level of support that Marine Le Pen managed to get. She gathered nearly 35 percent of the electorate. That's an extraordinary number for the far right in this country. That makes her effectively the leader of the opposition. And we're coming up five weeks from now on the French legislative election where they choose their new congress, their national assembly and so on.

She is going to be in a very, very strong position at that point to really begin to make some changes in this country. And you can probably hear some of the celebration behind us for Macron. That's great. But Macron's going to have to learn to deal with this new reality unless he's going to find himself isolated in the Elysee Palace with a national assembly that is working against him. That's the real fear. And that is why tonight really begins the next phase of the French electoral process which is the legislative campaign which begins now and ends in mid-June.

WHITFIELD: And, Tim, there was different messaging, was there not? I mean, you had messaging of this populace movement just before the election and now another message has been sent by Le Pen's defeat.

TIM NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, Fred, first of all, let's step back and take into consideration what's just happened. Momentum is everything. And what we have seen in Europe is that with the exception of England and Wales, extreme narrow nationalism has not been popular. And indeed in the United States it's really only Brexit where a popular vote has gone in the majority for extreme nationalism.

So this victory by Macron has enormous implications, not just for France, but for Europe. These changes the negotiations between Great Britain and the EU over Brexit. This strengthens Germany. Strengthens Merkel. It strengthens the idea of Europe.

By the way, until the election of President Trump, it had been U.S. policy to support economic integration. Republicans and democrats. It'll be very interesting to see how congress responds. I suspect the Trump administration won't be that happy, but congress has been committed to free trade. So this is a big moment.

Le Pen's speech tonight was an attempt to spin a real loss. You see, of course she got more than her father did. But she was expecting in the 40s, if not to win this election. The fact that she -- it looks like it right now, we don't have the final numbers yet, but it looks like she got even less than the last poll result shows that in the end the French weren't willing to jump into the dark with her. I think this is a big defeat for her.

And as for the legislative elections, we have to see what happens. But it doesn't necessarily have a strong legislative presence. Right now it doesn't have -- it has hardly no presence at all. So let's see what happens. I think this is a great defeat for Le Pen and for pinched narrow defensive nationalism in Europe.

WHITFIELD: So, David, do you agree with that, while her defeat for presidency of France may be what we have -- which is what unfolded here, does it also not say that there is still this fervent wave of nationalism, this populism? You heard her language there, Le Pen, and she committed, she pledged that she would continue, that she would help lead this movement, that she described this riff between patriots and liberals. She described the landscape as a decomposition of potential life. So she still has a pretty sizable following if not just in France, then in other parts of Europe and perhaps even around the world.

ROHDE: I would agree though. If her numbers stick at 35, that is lower than expected, she was supposed to be at about 40 percent. But I think the lesson maybe for Europe and even American politics, is this desire for change. And Macron, again, being a 39-year-old who's never held elective office, who created a new party, shows that desire for change. So if you can have a youthful candidate who promises to change things but not in this narrow nationalistic way, now in the way of marine Le Pen that formula can work. And I think that -- so the desire for change is there. Can the left or the centrist in Europe take advantage of it? Can the left and the centrist in the United States take advantage of it as well?

WHITFIELD: And, David, in your view, if this election, the outcome of this election will change the dynamics of how France is dealing with the U.K. or even the rest of Europe, in what way do you see the outcome of this election changing or impact the way in which the president of the United States is now dealing with the president of France?

ANDELMAN: Well, remember, Macron has said that he wants to renegotiate France's entire relationship with the EU and presumably with the United States as well. So that remains to be seen. I would point out, by the way, one interesting item on these numbers, be a little bit careful about them because these numbers do not take into consideration yet the numbers of blank votes that may have been cast. These are just exit polls and it totals to 100 percent.

So we may very well see a three, four, five, perhaps even larger swing once these other numbers are tallied. So she could wind up well over 35 percent. That said, Macron is clearly -- a clear and resounding winner. There's no doubt about that. Again, now he has a mandate to be able to go out and do some of the kinds of things he has promised during the campaign to do. Which is to make France an even more global power. Presumably that means negotiating with the United States and renegotiating France's role in the European Union.

So I'm not clear exactly how well that's going to necessarily go down with the Germans or the Italians for instance.

WHITFIELD: David, you're there in Paris along the Champs-Elysees, I think that is behind you. And so what did this entire election period reveal about the French people, about culturally an openness to change or lack thereof or even, you know, kind of unveil about frustrations?

ANDELMAN: Well, one thing it really reveals is how passionately the French really do care about their government and their politics and who needs them. Remember, over 70 percent of the French went to the polls today. Almost like 75 percent of the French actually went out and voted. We had a 58 percent voting record return in the United States. Even for this contentious election between Trump and Clinton. So the French really do care. This demonstrates how much the French care about who rules them and what kind of a country, what kind of a country they have for themselves, what kind of an image they present to the world. All that is very important. And that I think was reinforced really tonight. That's one of the reasons why you hear all these sirens behind me up and down the Champs-Elysees. People celebrating. What they see as a renewal of the French spirit with a new young and exciting and dynamic person to lead them. And they have great hopes, I think for the future now.

WHITFIELD: To David's point, I thought, you know, David Rohde, the point that David Andelman was making was pretty impressive that it would be 75 percent voter turnout. But when I was talking to Christiane she said actually that's down from previous years. So there is still some reticence in this recent election season for people to be involved or participate, is there? Or how do you understand that or what's the explanation behind something like that, David that such a divisive or polarizing election would not be one that would encourage more people to come out?

[14:30:05] ROHDE: I think it's the same thing we see in the United States. There's a deep cynicism, a lack of trust in institutions, a sense that, you know, President Trump said this that elections are fixed.

You know, obviously, (inaudible) didn't prove to be true, but that sort of reflects him, yes, it is, even at 75 percent, it's a lower turnout than the past three presidential elections.

So again, Macron faces huge challenges in getting people to believe in the French system and the French economy and believing that it can work and they can live positive and productive and fruitful lives.

WHITFIELD: Now we understand that Francois Hollande has called Emmanuel Macron and congratulated him. Everyone keeps talking about Macron as the outsider, but he was a finance minister, you know, under Hollande's leadership. So he has dabbled in what it is to execute government.

I'm going to take a break with you guys now, David, and Tim, I want to take us now to Northern France which had been considered a real stronghold of Marine Le Pen. Isa Soares is there. So Isa, how is the message being conveyed there? What are people saying?

ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, silence and disappointment very different scenes from what we saw early this morning when Marine Le Pen cast her vote around 11:00. She had so many supporters backing her, so many people screaming saying I love you, Marine. They call her here by her first name.

She had people coming from outside of this town to catch a glimpse of her. This is like you said, Marine La Pen's heartland. This is the French north belt. Although we go by the numbers, she has lost, the concern is still huge and she even said in the speech she was playing to that.

She basically said I'll be head of those who want France's independence and security. So clearly she's betting on those legislative elections and calling on patriots and that's exactly how she's really pitched herself here in this part of Northern France.

This is about the globalization and the patriots. The haves and the have notes, the elites, and the likes of Emmanuel Macron and those who work -- who she considers peasants. This is the forgotten France. That's how she's put it.

So Macron may have won, but the concern now is how is he going to unite the rest of France? In particular, these people here in Northern France that have real worries in terms of economy. Talking about unemployment, 20 percent, that's twice the national average.

Factories are closing. Shops are boarded up. There's a real concern here about not just jobs, but security and also about immigration. This is something that he will have to tackle.

Also importantly, Fredricka, big concern, I just spoke to people here, people just don't trust him. He is seen as one of the elite. One person said he has never held office. He doesn't have a party. He has a movement. So how will he bring these people on board? Of course, the mayor of this town is Front National. There are the 12 in the country, or 12 National, so people here are proud to have that support, but it will be extremely difficult now for him to try and bring everyone together united France.

That's why we had a call here to the patriots from Marine Le Pen. She basically said in that speech, she talked about the rift between patriots and liberals, but also the identity of France is at stake. Those are the trigger words that we have heard time and time again.

WHITFIELD: All right, Isa Soares, thank you so much. So the President-elect Macron with a very big job ahead of coalescing people there.

Now let's go to our international correspondent, Cyril Vanier. He is joining us from a cafe in Paris. What are people saying right there to you? What are their biggest concerns? Are they happy with the outcome?

CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good to be joining you from a cafe in Central Paris. I want to introduce you to Olivier Vient, who is the owner of this cafe where we are here. He's been listening to your program the last 30 minutes or so and looking at the results come in. He's been quietly happy because he is a Macron voter, voted for him in the first round and in the second round. Your man won this evening.

OLIVIER VIENT, CAFE OWNER: Yes. I'm very happy and pleased to have a good night now. (Inaudible).

VANIER: Were you worried about this election?

VIENT: Yes. First time I was worried about the possibility to be active in our country (inaudible).

[14:35:08]VANIER: You didn't want the far right to be the face of France for the next five years?

VIENT: Yes. Sure.

VANIER: So now that you know that's not going to be the case, you have to think ahead to the person that you voted for, Emmanuel Macron. What do you expect? What do you hope for out of him?

VIENT: I'm expecting for him to be able to be able to understand and hear the politics from France, except from national maybe.

VANIER: You want them to unite the country?

VIENT: Yes and to compose these good ideas from Mr. Melenchon and some other proposition for the future because we have to change things.

VANIER: When you say we have to change things, what's your priority, for instance?

VIENT: Good economy, able to be (inaudible) politics, able to be open mind, and able to talk with others and --

VANIER: As a business owner, the economy is very important to you. You told me earlier.


VANIER: And Emmanuel Macron is the man who presents himself, portrays himself as the person who's going to be able to put the French economy back on track. Do you believe he can do that? Other presidents in the past, other candidates have said that.

VIENT: Not enthusiastic.

VANIER: You're not?

VIENT: Not really. But I want to be optimistic and if he's able to talk with others and, yes, I want to be optimistic.

VANIER: You voted for him. Why are you not enthusiastic? You don't think that he can reduce unemployment, boost businesses? He presents himself as pro-business.

VIENT: Yes, I think it's so difficult. People have tried to do that. I'm not expecting so much, but you have to do something.

VANIER: Fredricka, you have to understand this is a really interesting point. He is actually a Macron supporter is doubtful that the pro-business candidate and now the pro-business president-elect can actually help businesses. And you said something really interesting. You said it's been like this with a 10 percent unemployment, the sluggish economy, it's been like this for 30 years.

VIENT: Yes. That's what I feel, but yes, (inaudible) coming each five years --

VANIER: But he presents himself as an outsider, right?


VANIER: They all do that? You don't believe him?

VIENT: Yes, I want to believe them. But I need more to be country able to share with others and to be close. You know what I mean? To close the border and open mind.

VANIER: An inclusive country.


VANIER: Instead of what Marine Le Pen was offering.


VANIER: But Marine Le Pen was speaking a moment ago and she was saying, well, France voted for continuity. Do you think Macron is more of the same? VIENT: It's kind of continuing. That's one more time I think he understands that now it has to speak and to hear people around him and so from parts and more social voices I want to be -- I want to believe that he will be able to do that because it's a way to move and go on.

VANIER: All right. Fredricka, you heard it from Olivier, the owner of this cafe here in Central Paris, he wants to believe that Emmanuel Macron will be able to implement the policies that he campaigned on. Back to you, Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right, Cyril, thank you so much. Clearly while voters have made a decision about the new president of France, Emmanuel Macron, they still have to make their minds about what potentially is next and what's of greatest importance to them with this new outcome. We're going to take a short break for now and we'll be right back.



WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. Live pictures now of quite the crowd Emmanuel Macron supporters, the man described as a centrist has just won the presidency of France. A number of people have turned out waving their flags there. Now they're awaiting the winner of the French election to come out and address the supporters.

Let's talk more about the implications of the French election and how this also helps pave the way forward between the U.S. and French relations. Tim Naftali is back with me, David Rohde, and David Andelman. Good to see all of you again.

So there have been a lot of parallels in the French election to the U.S. election that we just experienced in 2016. And when you hear some of the language of some of the supporters, those that we just interviewed in the last hour, talking about closed factories, using the word elite to even describe Macron.

Even though he too is considered an outsider. Also hearing about the concerns about whether voters can trust the new president-elect. Tim, in your view, what do these parallels mean? The outcome very different in the French election. They have chosen the person who's been described as being very inclusive.

TIM NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, free trade has not affected all groups equally in society. Whereas consumers generally benefit from free trade because it lowers the cost of things. There are groups in society that don't benefit because their industry disappears, but it's not always free trade. It's also technological change that brings that about.

So we have this problem throughout the developed world. It's a real problem and it's a problem that leads haven't fully dealt with. Some of the anger that you saw in the United States, we saw in the United States, is also in France.

[14:45:06]I think, though, what's really important is to think about how France didn't act the way some people have thought. You know, after Charlie Hebdo, after the Bataclan, after Nice, both political parties in France basically collapsed as we saw on the presidential campaign. And a leader, a candidate of fear rose. It would have been so --

WHITFIELD: No mainstream candidates were, you know, in the final two here.


WHITFIELD: Neither of these candidates considered mainstream candidates. However, that whole issue of immigration tied to terrorism, that was at the core of Marine Le Pen's rise and at the core of this wave of populism.

NAFTALI: But it was defeated. The point -- what's so interesting is that even though the mainstream parties collapsed, there was an opponent to this kind of narrow view of patriotism and nationalism, who rose simultaneously and defeated the candidate of fear. That's what makes this election so interesting in France.

WHITFIELD: And so David Rhode, is there a way in which to know whether voters in France were watching the U.S. elections as it unfolded looking at the outcome, comparing notes, comparing contrast perhaps, and whether any voters may have used that as a directive in their vote in France?

ROHDE: Yes, look, Trump's victory may have had made Macron supporters turnout and really get out and vote for him. There wasn't a sense that others no way Marine Le Pen can win. You know, they definitely want to get out there and represent him. I just want to say I agree with Tim. I mean, this is extraordinary.

When you look at the number of attacks in France, the number of victims, Paris, Nice, across the country, and it has continued to have such an overwhelming victory for a candidate that did not embrace division and fear, you know, is resounding and frankly is a credit to the French people.

But as I said earlier, Macron represents change and that's the broader lesson I think for politicians, you know, in the developed world. I also agree the developed world does not have a good answer for hour to recreate security and good paying jobs.

So, you know, American politicians have got to look at this and see that a young new candidate with a new vision is needed so defeat the more nationalist approach to politics.

WHITFIELD: David, is it your view that people were going to the polls there to send a message to the world, to Europe, to say this is, you know, my France? This is what France is all about?

ANDELMAN: There was certainly a lot of that in it, no doubt about that. But you have to understand the other reason that I think Marine Le Pen did go down to a relatively resounding defeat was that they did not want to do, what the French people did not want to do is they did not want to turn their country over to someone who represented through her father the ideals that France has so turned against.

The whole concept of -- and she got into a lot of trouble for this, the deportation of tens of thousands of French Jews through the extermination camps through World War II, something that her father said didn't really happen.

That is something that has really abhorrent to the French people, some of her down side of her is the reason her vote was kept as it was, went down below what levels had conceivably had been was this very great concern by the French that they really need to send that kind of message not only to Europe and the world, but to themselves so that they could feel better about themselves and their country.

That they are not a country that disrespects Jews, that disrespects minorities. Even that can't accept the concept of human rights and immigration represents. I think that was one of the reasons why she was defeated.

WHITFIELD: And it's interesting she made that central to her campaign, yet clearly voters have rejected that. Her moniker was choose France but clearly voters have chosen Macron.

So again, we're waiting for Emmanuel Macron to greet his supporters there at the Louvre. Folks who may have toured Paris will know the Louvre as the place where the Mona Lisa is inside that museum there.

Right now it has turned into headquarters for Emmanuel Macron, the centrist there. You see the waving of the flags. The French flag as they await word, first word from the president-elect. David Rohde, David Andelman, Tim Naftalki, thank you so much. We're going to be right back right after this.



WHITFIELD: All right, welcome back. I'm Fredricka Whitfield. Live pictures now of the Louvre in Paris, which is also the headquarters for the now president-elect of France, Emmanuel Macron.

You see a number of people there who have turned out all awaiting for his first words spoken as the president-elect. He's 39 years old, a former investment banker and he was the so-called outsider here.

Let's bring in Jim Bittermann, our senior international correspondent, who is there at this soon-to-be this Macron's victory rally. People are very excited there. What are their expectations of this new president?

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think there's a lot of expectations. There's a love of faith that he's going to carry through on what he said he's going to carry through on. I know you talk in the United States a lot about the first 100 days of Donald Trump.

Well, he set a very high bar the other day in an interview, he said a president's five-year term in France is either made or broken by the first 100 days.

[14:55:04]So I think we are going to see a lot of action from him and not the kind of action necessarily you have seen in the United States. But in any case, he will be out of the box here. He's got to name a cabinet in this first week.

He has to name all the members of his cabinet. He's going to be inaugurated as president a week from today. Then he faces legislative elections, in other words, he has to get the equivalent of a Congress elected around him who support his plans and he only has three weeks to do that.

So he's going to be moving very fast, but we know that he's very organized. I think he will probably be able to pull it off the way he is hoping. There will probably be a lot of pushbacks. There are people who voted for him but only reluctantly.

They may turn up at some of the rallies that are already being planned to fight this government because there are people here in France, who don't believe that Emmanuel Macron supports them.

So Fredricka, it's going to be a very challenging time for all of the people here, but right now it's party time and they're waiting for their man to make an appearance here and make a speech -- Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: Right. And potentially challenging too for Macron because he at some point has to win over the supporters of Marine Le Pen, his opponent.

All right, thank you so much, Jim Bittermann. We'll check back with you momentarily there from Paris. All right, the next hour of NEWSROOM starts right after a quick break.


WHITFIELD: All right, there screams of victory there for Emmanuel Macron in France outside of the Louvre there. Hello, everyone. Thanks so much for being with me. I'm Fredricka Whitfield.

We are following breaking news. A stinging defeat for the far right in France, centrist presidential candidate, Emmanuel Macron defeating French Nationalist, Marine Le Pen, to become the country's next president and in an election that has been closely watched here in the U.S. and around the world. We've got full coverage for you right now.

CNN chief national correspondent, Christiane Amanpour is at the Macron rally there in Paris, and CNN international correspondent, Isa Soares, is covering Le Pen campaign in Northern France, which was considered Le Pen's, you know, real stronghold support location.

Christiane, let me begin with you there in Paris. So this vote seems to be breaking down to about 60 percent to 40 percent in favor of Macron.