We meet once again! After several days of passing arms in the National Assembly around the separatism bill, Gérald Darmanin and Marine Le Pen met Thursday evening, face to face, eye to eye, for three quarters of an hour of debate on the set of the program “Vous ont la parole” (France 2). A duel that promises, and for several reasons: first because it will focus exclusively on questions of security, immigration and separatism. Suffice to say the favorite hunting ground of the two guests. Then because the two have maintained for years a level of enmity that has never been denied.
As evidenced again recently, the words of the Minister of the Interior in Le Parisien, on January 25, when he described the RN as “an intellectual scam. Finally, fourteen months before the presidential election, the already declared candidate, like Macron’s right-hand man on sovereign issues, is well aware that these subjects will be among the main concerns of the French during the campaign.
“She does not go there to be Darmanin”
So in recent days, both have been working on preparing for this crucial meeting for their credibility. Marine Le Pen notably read Darmanin’s latest work on Islamist separatism. She also consulted the Horatii, this anonymous circle of senior officials close to her movement, and a few communicators, including former BFMTV journalist Pascal Humeau, who gives her advice to deliver a clear and concise message. Because, unlike the presidential two-round debate with Emmanuel Macron, where she wanted to “unmask” her opponent, Marine Le Pen intends this time to avoid personal attacks against the tenant of Place Beauvau.
“She does not go there to be Darmanin, she goes there to debate the substance”, swears his entourage, according to which “everything must be done so that this debate does not look like a revenge of the debate between two- tours with Macron or a brutal face-to-face in the sun. “Not to be caught off guard, his advisers have even gone so far as to make multiple calls to the France 2 teams in recent days, in particular to find out how the show was going to unfold, the angles selected, etc.
Darmanin on the lookout
On the side of Darmanin, on the other hand, we try to make believe that he approaches this meeting like, almost, any other. “He prepares for it by being in Parliament from 9 am to midnight almost every day to defend the separatism bill. It is undoubtedly the best school ”, confides one of his collaborators. But behind the scenes, for more than a week, the minister is indeed on the lookout. By reviewing in particular all the declarations and positions taken by the boss of the RN – which he continues to call FN in public – on all subjects related to questions of immigration, communitarianism and security.
“He wants to show that we can have an effective, credible and serious answer on these subjects, without being in the demagogy and in the hysteria”, tackles an adviser, while recalling that the fight of Darmanin against the Le Pen is not new: “He is even at the origin of his involvement in politics. The first time he voted, in 2002, was during the presidential election with Jean-Marie Le Pen in the second round ”.
Suffice to say that both clearly intend to go into the political field during this duel. The proof ? Last September, Marine Le Pen refused to debate in the same program against Jean Castex. “With the Prime Minister, what would we have talked about? Containment, deconfinement, reconfinement? He’s a cab manager, not a politician. Darmanin is a politician. I hope he will be at the level, ”slips one of his relatives. Answer Thursday evening.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr