President Barack Obama has been relatively quiet on current events since leaving office in January, but he recently gave his first endorsement in a video released Thursday.
The 44th president officially threw his support behind French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron in a video posted by French journalist Laurence Haim on Twitter.
“I’m not planning to get involved in many elections now that I don’t have to run for office again,” Obama said. “But the French election is very important to the future of France and the values that we care so much about. Because the success of France matters to the entire world.”
Obama said that he met with Macron recently to discuss his vision. He said that he believes Macron is the right choice for the French presidency because he has “stood up for liberal values” and “is committed to a better future for the French people.”
“He appeals to people’s hopes and not their fears,” Obama continued.
Macron is running against far right National Front political party candidate Marine Le Pen, who has pushed anti-immigrant and nationalist views in her campaign. She recently came in second to Macron, a relative newcomer to politics who created his own party — called “En Marche!” or “Onward!”
One of the cruxes of Le Pen’s campaign is to push for a EU referendum similar to the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom last year. She also wants to ditch the Euro.
The two candidates took part in a heated televised debate Wednesday night. Le Pen called out Macron for his past in finances (he used to be French President François Hollande’s finance minister) and his lax stance on what she sees as the fight against terrorism, while Macron doubled down on Le Pen’s anti-immigration policies.
Obama cemented his endorsement by repeating “En Marche” at the end of the video, which you can watch above.