French envoy to US hits back after Bush bashing

France’s ambassador to the US has come out fighting following Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s mocking of France and its “three day working week”. The envoy took to Twitter to spell out a few home truths. Here’s a selection.

French envoy to US hits back after Bush bashing
Gérard Araud with Barack Obama discussing the benefits of universal health care. Photo: AFP

Ambassador Gérard Araud was clearly not willing to take Bush's jibe during a presidential debate lying down. 

The White House hopeful had mustered the ultimate American put-down as he clashed with a former ally, accusing him of putting in a French work week.

“Literally, the Senate, is it a French work week? You turn up for like three days?” Bush hit out in a fiery exchange with his Florida Senator Marco Rubio during the debate.

As expected the comment touched a raw nerve back in France, where most people staunchly defend the country's work culture and in particular the sacred 35-hour week, which is often the subject of mocking from across the pond.

Leading the charge was Ambassador Araud, who called Bush's comments “bombastic nonsense” and tried to set the record straight about a few old clichés of France that remain alive and well in the US.

Araud  took to Twitter to defend all things French.

First of all he send this tweet, pointing out the benefits of France's social security system and employment rights.

His riposte was retweeted nearly 1,000 times.

Then when someone on Twitter asked him whether he was proud of France's high rate of taxes Araud said:

Araud then found himself embroiled in a row over which health care system was better the US or the French, which had been judged the best in the world back in 2000, by the World Health Organisation.

Araud also found himself trying to put the record straight when one tweeter riled him by saying “no one likes the French”.

Although it's fair to say many sympathetic American's tweeted the French ambassador and told him to ignore Bush's comments.
Even the White House became embroiled in the row, with the press spokesman telling a French journalist the Jeb Bush was probably just jealous of the French, which is the only explanation most French people can offer up to explain the incessant bashing of France from Britain and the United States.

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