France's Marion Le Pen Rallies U.S. Conservatives: We'll Prevail on Both Sides of Atlantic

Establishment Republicans denounce French nationalist leader's appearance at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference

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French National Front (FN) far-right party candidate in Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region (PACA) Marion Marechal-Le Pen (C, R) during a campaign rally on December 10, 2015 in Paris
French National Front (FN) far-right party candidate in Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur region (PACA) Marion Marechal-Le Pen (C, R) during a campaign rally on December 10, 2015 in ParisCredit: AFP / PATRICK KOVARIK

Marion Marechal-Le Pen, the niece of French far-right leader Marine Le Pen and former rising star of France's National Front (FN) is addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference Thursday.

Le Pen kicked off her speech by ripping into the European Union and exclaiming "France first."

Le Pen spoke of the recent rise of conservatism in the Western world, applauding both Brexit and the election of U.S. President Donald Trump. "When the people are given the opportunity to take their country back, they will seize it," she said.

Watch live: CPAC 2018

"You [conservative Americans] have succeeded in putting conservatism back on the top of the political agenda. So that on both sides of the Atlantic, the conservative movement will prevail," she said.

In his address to the conference earlier, NRA leader Wayne LaPierre accused supporters of gun control of exploiting the mass school shooting in Florida to promote an anti-gun agenda.

Vice President Mike Pence, a darling of the conservative movement, will also address the event, but the appearance of Le Pen has made waves throughout the Republican establishment. Senior editor of National Review Jonah Goldberg who accused Ms. Le Pen of being a “statist," while the “Reagan Battalion” Twitter account denounced Le Pen as having "NOTHING" to do with conservatism - all of which led to Breitbart running a gloating headline: "Establishment right-wingers in meltdown over Marion Le Pen invite to CPAC."

At CPAC, Mike Pence's focused on the Trump administration's accomplishments, with a focus on tax cuts and the U.S. fight against terror. He emphasized the administration's policies on Iran and the Iran nuclear deal.

"We put the leading state sponsor of terror on notice," he said. "The U.S. will no longer tolerate Iran's destabilizing presence across the region and this country will no longer certify the disastrous Iran deal."

"In this White House, it's about strength," he continued. "America is back," he said.

Earlier, LaPierre says opponents of gun rights want to “sweep under the carpet” the failure of school safety, families “and even the unbelievable failure of the FBI” to prevent the shootings.

LaPierre and NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch are addressing conservatives at CPAC.

Loesch says many in the media “love mass shootings,” adding, “crying white mothers are ratings gold.”

The Associated Press contributed to the report

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