French conservative Laurence Sailliet accused Emmanuel Macron of being a “rough draft” president who favours “form over substance”.
Mrs Sailliet, a spokeswoman for France’s right-wing Les Républicains party, was commenting on an interview France‘s President Mr Macron gave BFM TV, RMC radio and Mediapart online news on Sunday night, during which France’s 40-year-old leader was forced to defend his authoritarian leadership style and radical reform agenda.
Mrs Sailliet said when asked by RFI radio to comment on the two-hour long interview, said: “I felt like I was watching a political comedy.
“The interview was quite disturbing. It felt more like an American wrestling match than a political interview,” she added, referring to the two interviewers’ – Edwy Plenel and Jean-Jacques Bourdin – aggressive questioning style and Mr Macron’s defensive answers.
The top conservative then proceeded to describe the young centrist as a “rough draft” president who “feigns sincerity” and constantly dodges questions.
She said: “Mr Macron is a president who favours form over substance.”
The right-winger also slammed Mr Macron’s decision to join the US-led strikes against Syria, which came in retaliation for the Syrian regime’s suspected chemical attack on civilians earlier this month.
While Mr Macron fiercely defended Saturday’s airstrikes on three chemical weapons storage and research facilities, Mrs Sailliet said that they were “not legitimate,” adding that the coordinated operation by the US, France and Britain was just another “droplet of violence” in the Syrian war.
Far-right leader Marine Le Pen also excoriated Mr Macron’s interview performance and decision to launch airstrikes against the Syrian government.
Mrs Le Pen said: “The President of the Republic violated international law and is now trying to make the French believe that the airstrikes were ‘legitimate’. But he has not yet shared any evidence to justify the airstrikes on Syria!
“Mr Macron has showed us his true colours. Last year, he made us believe that he would strive to represent the best of the right and the best of the left. But in truth, he represents the worst of the right and the worst of the left.”
Virginie Duby-Muller, a conservative lawmaker, also joined the chorus of criticism, saying that so-called “Macronism” was nothing but an “illusion”.
Damien Abad, the vice-president of Les Républicains, for his part, slammed Mr Macron’s TV performance as “too stiff,” adding that the president appeared to be “disconnected from reality”.