Former President Barack Obama may not be making an endorsement in France’s upcoming presidential election, but his former deputy national security adviser is warning that a win for right-wing leader Marine Le Pen would be “devastating.”
“A Le Pen victory would be devastating to any mainstream definition of US interests and values since WWII,” Ben Rhodes said in a tweet Saturday.
Rhodes’ warning is quite a bit more drastic than the measured statement former President Barack Obama’s spokesman put out last week about his conversation with another French candidate, Emmanuel Macron.
While Obama did not endorse Macron, spokesman Kevin Lewis said the two did talk about the campaign.
Macron tweeted video of their call on Thursday.
The first round of voting takes place on Sunday. If no single candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote, which seems the most likely, then a second run-off election between the top two candidates will occur on May 7.
Polling suggests the two candidates who will make it to round two are Macron, a centrist who is pro-European Union; and Le Pen, who would likely push for a “Frexit.” Macron seems to have the advantage in the second round.
In the statement, Lewis said Obama “remains deeply committed” to France as a close ally of the U.S., and “as a leader on behalf of liberal values in Europe and around the world.”
President Trump has neglected to make a formal endorsement too, but he did compliment Le Pen in a recent interview. He said Le Pen is “strongest on borders, and she’s the strongest on what’s been going on in France.”
This post originally appeared on Washington Examiner