Obama Phones French Presidential Candidate, Says It’s Not An Endorsement

Former President Barack Obama got on the phone Thursday with French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron ahead of Sunday’s election.

Macron, described as politically “centrist,” leads in polls and is expected to make it to a run-off election against populist Marine Le Pen. Macron’s campaign “warmly thanked Barack Obama for his friendly call,” but an Obama spokesman said it had nothing to do with an endorsement.

“Obama called to hear from Mr. Macron about his campaign and the important upcoming presidential election in France, a country that Obama remains deeply committed to as a close ally and as a leader on behalf of liberal values in Europe and around the world,” Obama’s spokesman Kevin Lewis said, according to Politico. “An endorsement was not the purpose of the call, as President Obama is not making any formal endorsement in advance of the run-off election Sunday.”

Macron holds a slight lead in the final days of the campaign with 24 percent’s support, according to an Ifop poll released Thursday. Marine Le Pen is a close second at 22.5 percent. Conservative Francois Fillon (19.5 percent) and hard-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon (18.5 percent) are also in contention. The top two candidates will go up against each other in a run-off election May 7.

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