Trump v Le Pen: In their own words

By Avinash Chak
BBC News

image copyrightAFP

With Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen surging in the polls in the US and France, comparisons between the two politicians have been popping up all over the place.

"Donald Trump is now America's Marine Le Pen," declared a headline in the New Yorker this week.

"Europe has plenty of its own Donald Trumps," responded Marc Champion in BloombergView, noting that Le Pen may have a better chance of becoming president in France than Trump in the US.

When it came to Donald Trump's call for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the US" Ms Le Pen asked a television interviewer: "Seriously, have you ever heard me say something like that?"

One answer could be that it depends on the definition of "like".

Here is a comparison of quotations from the two politicians on this and other topics.


Trump: Donald J Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on. We have no choice. We have no choice. We have no choice. (December 2015)

Le Pen: Marine le Pen calls for an immediate end to all reception of migrants in France and an immediate end to their dispersal in the municipalities of France, both villages and towns. The security of the French people renders this precaution pressing. (November 2015 )

(Trump was speaking after the San Bernardino shootings, and Le Pen after news that one of the Paris attackers entered Europe as a migrant.)

Trump: When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending the best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us [sic]. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people. (June 2015)

Le Pen: Would you accept 12 illegal immigrants moving into your flat? You would not. On top of that, they start to remove the wallpaper. Some of them would steal your wallet and brutalise your wife. You would not accept that. Consequently, we are welcoming, but we decide with whom we are welcoming. (May 2012)


Trump: I will build a great wall - and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me - and I'll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words. (June 2015)

Le Pen: Whatever the EU says, it is essential that France gets back control of its national borders once and for all. Without borders, neither defence nor security is possible. (November 2015)


Trump: I will be the greatest representative of the Christians that they've had in a long time. (June 2015)

Le Pen: Liberty, equality, fraternity are Christian values! France can be secular because it is Christian at its origin. (April 2012)

Vladimir Putin

Trump: I think that I would probably get along with him very well. And I don't think you'd be having the kind of problems that you're having right now. (October 2015)

Le Pen: I admire his cool head because there's a Cold War being waged against him by the EU at the behest of the United States, which is defending its own interests. I admire that he's managed to restore pride and contentment to a great nation that's been humiliated and persecuted for 70 years. (January 2014)

Climate change

Trump: Obama thinks it's the number one problem of the world today. And I think it's very low on the list. So I am not a believer, and I will - unless somebody can prove something to me - I believe there's weather. I believe there's change, and I believe it goes up, and it goes down, and it goes up again. (September 2015)

Le Pen: I am not sure that human activity is the principal origin of this phenomenon. (February 2012)


Trump: Sadly, the American dream is dead. But if I get elected president I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before, and we will make America great again. (June 2015)

Le Pen: There's something I will say: In the US, people are very patriotic. Their patriotism is obvious. In France, for many years, you had to fight to be patriotic. People are pushing us from loving our own country. (April 2015)


Trump: I'm a free-trader. But the problem with free trade is you need really talented people to negotiate for you… Free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people, but we have people that are stupid. We have people that aren't smart. And we have people that are controlled by special interests. And it's just not going to work. (June 2015)

Le Pen: Danger number one is two-faced. One, Islamic fundamentalism, which is a kind of totalitarianism in the 21st Century. The second is globalisation, which is another kind of totalitarianism, the ideology of free business with no boundaries. (April 2015)

Islamic State

Trump: Nobody would be tougher on ISIS than Donald Trump. Nobody. I will find — within our military - I will find the General Patton, or I will find General MacArthur. I will find the right guy. I will find the guy that's going to take that military and make it really work. Nobody, nobody will be pushing us around. (June 2015)

Le Pen: Bashar al-Assad leads Syria today, he leads an army, there is no other way if one wants to eradicate Islamic State than to join a large coalition including Bashar al-Assad… If I were president I would have done it three years ago. (October 2015)


Trump: When was the last time anybody saw us beating, let's say, China in a trade deal? They kill us. I beat China all the time. All the time. (June 2015)

Le Pen: All the big French groups chose China, where they undertake a large part of their production. There again, the focus on China for French production gave rise to one of the great unchallengeable dogmas of recent decades. The sun was supposed to be setting in France and rising in China. (August 2015)


Trump: People are getting their heads chopped off, they're being drowned. Right now, they are far worse than they were, ever, under Saddam Hussein or Gaddafi. (October 2015)

Le Pen: The fall of Saddam Hussein led to chaos in Iraq, which has become the home of jihadism. (February 2015)


Trump: Well, the answer is yes, defund [ie stop government funding for the reproductive health non-profit organisation Planned Parenthood]. The other, [overturning the Supreme Court ruling Roe v Wade, which affirms a woman's right to an abortion] you need a lot of Supreme Court justices. But we're gonna be looking at that also very, very carefully. But you need a lot of Supreme Court judges. But defund, yes, we're going to be doing that. (December 2015)

Le Pen: I am for freely available contraception and freely available abortion. (December 2015)


Trump: I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created. I tell you that. I'll bring back our jobs from China, from Mexico, from Japan, from so many places. I'll bring back our jobs, and I'll bring back our money. (June 2015)

Le Pen: Only the Front National plans to give back to France those essential weapons [such as control of its national budget and borders] to help it fight in a globalised world and achieve innovation and re-industrialisation. (October 2015)

image copyrightAFP

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