France’s far-right presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen faced accusations of plagiarism today after delivering a speech that was remarkably similar to an earlier address by one of her defeated rivals.
The plagiarism, which set off a flurry of comments on media and social platforms Tuesday, appears to have first been noticed by Ridicule TV, a pro-Fillon channel broadcast through Facebook and Twitter.
At a rally Monday in Paris, Le Pen went off on an ode to France’s geography, and how it links the country to cultures from around the world from “the immense Hispanic and Latin world” to “Italy our sister,” and then boasted about how people from Mexico to Shanghai seek to learn French. But it was quickly pointed out that the passage was identical to a Fillon speech made on April 15 in central France.
Le Pen’s campaign manager called it a “wink” to Fillon’s supporters.
“There were some interesting elements,” David Rachline said on France 2 television. “I think this little wink was appreciated, including by supporters of Mr. Fillon.”
Fillon took 19.9 percent in the first round and both Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron, her rival in May 7 runoff, have sought to win over his disappointed voters.