French Politics: Marion Marechal-Le Pen


      In France, there is a rising rock star of the political right.

      26-year-old Marion Maréchal-Le Pen has a political pedigree that some might call extreme. The issues of migrants and terrorism have combined to ignite her career, and a little controversy.

      Full Measure's Scott Thuman has the story.

      Don't let the adoring fans, swarms of cameras and photogenic smile fool you, you're looking at one of France's, or more accurately Europe's most controversial figures. And no topic has made Marion-Marechal Le Pen more talked about than immigration.

      Le Pen: There are security consequences. Radical Islam has emerged. Terrorism is one of the more radical drifts. It's just the beginning. In this situation our parties are lead to come to power, I hope. We are lead to completely change the migration policy implemented by the European elites.

      The power she spoke of when sitting down to talk to us in Paris is the rising right in France, and a party called the National Front. Le Pen believes France should slow, if not stop allowing mass migration that she claims is posing a threat.

      Thuman: Critics say that's hateful, that we should be more accepting of immigrantswhen people say the way you speak is hateful, how do you respond to that?

      Le Pen: I would like to remind that France is the Europe's leading exporter of ISIS soldiers that underlines a malaise. Don't bury your head in the sand. The areas with the higher immigration rates are the areas with a strong insecurity. This immigration policy has failed. We have to stop burying our head in the sand because of the right thinking.

      In some respects, Maréchal-Le Pen has become the face of the movement, winning her seat in parliament at age 22 and gaining steam ever since.

      No stranger to the spotlight, she was the poster child during her famous family's political runs. Her grandfather Jean-Marie and her aunt Marine are both also considered polarizing. Marine Le Pen is now the president of the National Front.

      The young Le Pen is striking a new chord for her harsh stands against a growing Muslim population, abortion and gay marriage. Her sentiments are being noticed far from France. She has drawn attention and praise from others, like Sarah Palin, who calls Le Pen a 'political crush,' full of "courage and common sense on a continent that needs both."

      Thuman: Le Pen's popularity, while relatively small here in Paris, is hard to ignore in other regions where supports say it's not just her tough talk, but her undeniable charisma that has their movement gaining momentum.

      Critics in the capital city call her rise concerning.

      Guénolé: We had spectacular results in favor of far right, which is radically anti-Islam, anti-Muslims, anti-Arabs and anti so called immigrants, which is in fact code word for Arabsbasically!

      Political analyst, Thomas Guénolé, says her success would have been unimaginable just a few years ago.

      Guénolé: We have a climate that looks like the 30's but with Arabs instead of the Jews, basically.

      But the rising voice of the right in as many as a dozen European countries is creating a new wave of discontent over open borders, and Le Pen is riding that wave, while blaming her elder, more experienced colleagues.

      Le Pen: The politicians are complicit or blinded by this reality because of the political correctness. They do nothing while Salafi Imams are enlisting young French people and some associations are standing as the advocates of the jihad.

      Le Pen: They don't make integration efforts. I believe the big drama is that a large part of French Muslims express sympathy towards radical Islam. And this particular Islam isn't compatible neither with democracy nor with the values of the republic, particularly in terms of women's rights, as it's already been shown.

      That notion of a French Republic on the rise drove the National Front and Le Pen to another win, followed by a loss in regional elections last December.

      But the new party status has created a powerful springboard for the presidential bid by her aunt for the election next year, and who knows after that.

      Thuman: Would you like to be president one day? You don't think about that?

      Le Pen: Of course, of course but I have no career strategy. I have no career strategy. I haven't decided to be minister or president It's not my goal. I go where the people need me.

      Instead, Le Pen says she's just one of the little soldiers for her aunt in the 2017 election, and while their party may benefit politically from the immigration crisis, several political experts told us they feel the National Front has peaked.