Former White House strategist Steve Bannon delivered a speech Saturday in France that breathed new life into the far-right National Front Party, the motto for which is “France First.”
“Let them call you racist,” the former head of Breitbart News told Marine Le Pen’s nationalist supporters at a party gathering in Lille, France. “Let them call you xenophobes. Let them call you nativists. Wear it as a badge of honor.”
“The globalists have no answers to freedom,” he said. “You’re part of a worldwide movement bigger than France. History is on our side.”
Bannon stressed that the political divide is no longer between the right and the left, but between nationalists and globalists. He condemned crony capitalism, as well as central banks and central government.
“The tide of history is with us, and it will compel us to victory after victory after victory,” Bannon stressed to an audience of far-right nationalists desperate to remain relevant, a situation with which the former Goldman Sachs investment banker is quite familiar.
The Nationalist Front is struggling and the majority of the French population reportedly is not interested in seeing Le Pen run in the next election. She brought Bannon to the party meeting so that those present could learn from the so-called “the architect of Donald Trump’s victory.”
Le Pen is eager to rebrand her party and is expected to assign it a new name. “We’re at a turning point … don’t bury us,” she told a local paper recently.
Bannon is touring Europe, delivering an anti-establishment message. He has already visited Switzerland and Italy, the latter of which recently elected a parliament of right-wing anti-immigrant populists. He perceives the sudden shift in Italy an “earthquake,” one offering a boost populist and anti-immigration parties. “Every day, we get stronger and they get weaker,” he said in France.
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It is unclear whether Bannon’s surprise speech helped or hurt Le Pen’s efforts to reshape her party, and responses to the former Trump aide’s comments are mixed.
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