Marine Le Pen: 'Obama is more right-wing than me'
Marine Le Pen, the leader of the hard-line nationalist Front National, has compared her political views to a range of other politicians, claiming she is "neither right-wing nor left-wing."
"I'm struck when I see the Front National is the only political movement which systematically gets the 'extreme right' label," she said, adding it was an attempt to "demonize" the party.
"Obama is more right-wing than I am," she said. "His big act in social matters is to create social security. Personally, I would go much further than him."
"The Front National is not an extreme right party," she said. "The Front National is a party that respects democracy….We are republicans and we respect and even defend the principles of the French republic."
Surveying the political landscape, Le Pen also found a kindred spirit in some aspects of Socialist Arnaud Montebourg's thinking.
Montebourg is currently competing to win the Socialist Party nomination to be presidential candidate in 2012. Like him, she has frequently denounced the perceived excesses of globalization.
Le Pen likened her views on the role of the state to those of General Charles de Gaulle, who led France for ten years from 1959 to 1969.
"I think there should be a strategic role for the state and a regulatory role for the state," she said. "Let's say that I have a Gaullist vision of the role and the place of the state."
In a taste of how the Front National will campaign in next year's presidential elections, Le Pen stressed the primacy of the party's policy for France to leave the eurozone.
The party will also campaign on more traditional themes of reducing immigration, restricting social benefits and giving first rights on housing and jobs to French-born people.