‘Anti-capitalist T-shirt guy’: Philippe Poutou an online hit in French presidential debate
The Ford factory worker went head-to-head with political heavyweights Francois Fillon, Marine Le Pen and seven other candidates in a presidential debate on Tuesday, which he used to speak his mind and hit rivals with barbed comments.
Referring to National Front leader Le Pen and her decision to ignore a legal summons regarding allegations that she misused European Union Parliament funds, Poutou said: “The worst thing is that the National Front say they’re anti-system… [but] they protect themselves thanks to the laws of the system, thanks to parliamentary immunity and so refuse to reply to a police summons.”
Philippe Poutou (0,5%) finally tackles the campaign's big topics: Fillon and Le Pen's troubles with judges and fraud accusations— Pauline Bock (@PaulineBock) April 4, 2017
The New Anticapitalist Party candidate also rounded on French Republican Party candidate Francois Fillon, reminding him of how he had become embroiled in a scandal involving the misappropriation of funds. Both have denied wrongdoing.
While still very much a presidential underdog, Poutou’s choice of casual clothing and “normal job” also appears to have raised his profile online.
Who won the French debate?: Snap poll says Mélenchon 25%, Macron 21%, Fillon 15%, Le Pen 11%. My favorite: T-shirt guy Philippe Poutou— Paul Waldie (@pwaldieGLOBE) April 5, 2017
While I'm busy judging the men in the French presidential debate for their clothing choices, big fan of Philippe Poutou's look this eve pic.twitter.com/tg3irawVjO— Katy Lee (@kjalee) April 4, 2017
Find a lover that look at you the way Philippe Poutou looks at other candidat quand ils parlent.— Guilhem (@pornkid) April 4, 2017
The moment he turned around to speak to his campaign team during the debate has been quickly turned into a viral meme, much to the delight of his party and commenters online.
“Philippe Poutou was unsustainable on his stool,” his party blogged. “He did not hesitate to turn to his relatives several times to speak to them. An attitude that has greatly entertained Internet users.”
- comment on dit "rends l'argent" en langage de riche ? pic.twitter.com/Qog0tRmBS3— Adlan (@Gurzil_) April 4, 2017
-on va a la rue de la soif apres ? pic.twitter.com/sRa2eeFVYp— Philippe (@philousports) April 4, 2017
Make fun of me ok, but disrespect Philippe Poutou and prepare to die— immunité ouvrière (@NadVevo) April 2, 2017
Protect Philippe Poutou at all costs. https://t.co/rAa4uyEfsl— Malaisante (@ADAN_Officiel) April 1, 2017
i love you philippe poutou— Mirion Malle (@ohhmarion) April 4, 2017
Your timeline has been visited by a Philippe Poutou. It'll cut the bullshit and ask you to "rends l'argent". pic.twitter.com/yszDR48M1T— Potemkin of the hill (@P0temkin) April 5, 2017