Far-Right French Boss Quits With Anti-Semitic Dig

Jean-Marie Le Pen passes mantle to daughter, Marine, with parting shot
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2011 2:04 AM CST
Far-Right French Boss Quits With Anti-Semitic Dig
Like father, like daughter: Marine Le Pen and uber right-winger dad Jean-Marie Le Pen.   (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)

France's controversial far-right political party leader passed on his ultra-conservative mantle to his daughter yesterday—just minutes before unleashing another anti-Semitic dig. Jean-Marie Le Pen, who has infuriated the French left and center for over four decades, handed the reins of the National Front to 42-year-old Marine Le Pen after she won a party vote. He then lashed a Jewish journalist who had complained about being beaten and tossed out of the party's gala dinner, reports the Telegraph. His origins "could neither be seen" on his press cards "nor on his nose," said Le Pen.

It was an inauspicious start to the new leadership by his daughter, who is generally viewed as a "softer," more credible candidate who hopes to woo mainstream votes as she launches her bid to win the French presidency next year. The latest polls have her in third place with some 18 percent of the vote. "We are going to make the National Front a great popular force" and "conquer new voters," she vowed. Her dad said in farewell comments that "unceasing immigration" threatens France, and said his past comments have been "distorted" because he refuses to "submit to the dictatorship of the thought police."
(Read more Jean-Marie Le Pen stories.)

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