Fillon is pulling tactics out of the Trump playbook and it’s working.
The Républicain candidate has dipped in the polls for allegedly paying his wife with taxpayer money for a job she never did. The scandal has been seen as a big setback for the radical conservative reformer. But Fillon has found a way to take advantage of the situation, by using the Trump tactic that won him the nomination for his party.
During the French primaries, former president Nicolas Sarkozy was going in as the favorite for the Républicains. But similar to the downfall of Republican favorite, Jeb Bush, Sarkozy was the first to bow out of the race.
Instead, an underdog who was considered to have too controversial views to win, won. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
While the National Front candidate, Marine le Pen has more similar political views to Trump; it’s Fillon who’s running a Trump-style political campaign.
A major reason Trump was able to win was his response to the media’s heavy criticism over past scandals and his own party turning against him. He fought back by portraying them as the establishment trying to stop him, stop real change.
That’s exactly what Fillon is doing. In a recent rally in front of 35-40 thousand people (talk about YUUUGE) Fillon attack the media and government institutions for purposefully trying to smear his campaign.
In a speech given by surrogate Dominique de Beaucoudrey, he had this to say:
The Judges, the press, the government want to prevent us from voting for [who] we want to vote for
If unfavorable polling numbers and the barrage of attacks by the media and party insiders are a sign of what’s to come, don’t be surprised if Le Pen or Macron get knocked out in the first round.