Former U.S. President Barack Obama went public on Thursday with his support for the French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron.
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In a video statement, the former president said although he had not planned to get involved in election since leaving office last year, he had decided to weigh in on the French election as it was important not only to France, but "to the values we care so much about."
In his English-language posted on Macron's website, Obama said the current presidential frontrunner has "stood up for liberal values," and contended that the independent political candidate was "committed to a better future to the French people."
Obama distinguished Macron from his far-right opponent Marine Le Pen, saying that the centrist candidate "appeals to people's hopes, and not their fears," and for that reason he was "supporting Emmanuel Macron to lead" France forward.
He finished the video off by quoting Macron's party name "En March," which means "on the march," and chanting "Viva la France," which means "long live France."
Macron responded on Twitter Thursday, saying that "Hope is on the march," and thanked the former president for his support.