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“With Nicolas Sarkozy, we have different visions”: the truths of the boss of the Republicans Christian Jacob

The day after the legislative elections, Christian Jacob will leave the presidency of the Republicans. After the debacle of the presidential election, will he leave on a new defeat? To avoid this, he fights on all fronts. Next Monday, he will be in the Var, in Toulon with all the LR candidates, then in Six-Fours (1). Convinced that the polls predicting the rout are wrong.

You estimated, Thursday morning on Franceinfo, that Elisabeth Borne was a “Left-wing Prime Minister”…
It is obvious. All his life, all his political commitment attest to this. She was adviser to Lionel Jospin, then chief of staff to Ségolène Royal.

The opening of the SNCF to competition and the reform of unemployment insurance, which she carried out as Minister of Labor, are these left-wing measures?
These reforms did not bring much. They didn’t go far enough. It is first the fault of Emmanuel Macron, who uses a mountain of words to give birth to a mouse. He is the only President, for 40 years, to have failed to carry out a pension reform. On the other hand, he succeeded perfectly in reducing pensions for retirees by increasing taxation.

You propose to lower fuel taxes to reduce the price per liter to 1.50 euros. Valérie Pécresse considered this measure “unsuitable” during her campaign…
His position was more nuanced than that (2). We need effective measures immediately that affect all French people. In France, we even have a tax on the tax, the TICPE (ex-TIPP) on which we apply the VAT. We bludgeon all of rural France!

You are in favor of postponing the retirement age to 65. If the government introduces this bill, the LR deputies will vote for?
Emmanuel Macron’s real problem is his inability to do anything. Five years ago, he announced a reform on a scale comparable to the creation of Social Security by General de Gaulle. There followed three years of chatting to do nothing, because there was no clear line. He wants to embrace too broadly. In this sense, he is as demagogue as Jean-Luc Mélenchon or Marine Le Pen.

The polls promise you fewer deputies than the National Rally. Would such a result be a slap in the face?
I am convinced that it will not. We can clearly see, in the surveys that go back to us, that when we put names in front of labels, the Republican candidates are the best placed. Our territorial roots will make the difference, as during municipal and departmental elections. The national polls on the legislative elections mean absolutely nothing!

You will give up your place as president after the legislative elections. Does Laurent Wauquiez have the right profile to succeed you?
He has all the qualities for it. Like many others. But this is not the debate of the day. As my friend Guy Drut used to say: one hedge after another.

By giving up on running for the LR primary last December, didn’t he miss his chance?
We are not rewriting history. He made the choice of his territorial anchorage. In Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, voters are pleased to have an excellent regional president.

The mayor of Cannes would be a good leader for Les Républicains?
David Lisnard has just taken over the presidency of the Association of Mayors of France. It’s a complicated post… I don’t see how he could also lead a political party.

And Éric Ciotti, who came out on top in the first round of the LR primary?
All are legit. Eric is a friend. I have always been able to rely on him as chairman of the investiture committee. He is also an excellent questor. He has always defended his political line within our family with rigor and loyalty.

Éric Ciotti wants a law to ban burkinis in public spaces. He is right ?
Yes. We are in crazy times! Defending equality between men and women with the burkini, as in Grenoble, is really the Islamo-leftists who give in to pressure from the communitarians.

Did the disagreement between Pécresse and Ciotti during the campaign play a role in the failure of your candidate?
Eric has been completely loyal. He defended a line that was not in the majority, then he made a number of trips with the positions that are his. At the time of the RPR, Pasqua, Seguin and Toubon had different sensitivities: this did not prevent them from working together under the orders of Jacques Chirac.

Where is the repayment of Valérie Pécresse’s campaign debt?
The party paid 8 million euros. Valérie took out a loan of 5 million in her own name. I believe that between 1 and 1.5 million euros remains to be found before May 31.

Nicolas Sarkozy called for a “rally” with Macron. Is he still part of your political family?
Yes. As a former President, he has a special status with freedom of speech. I am proud of his five-year term at the Élysée even if today we have different visions.

In our region, Renaud Muselier, Hubert Falco and Christian Estrosi slammed the door of LR. It’s a mess?
It is above all a political error on their part! Who can recognize themselves in Emmanuel Macron’s five-year term, in this waste of public money, this inability to manage insecurity and immigration? Christian Estrosi has toured the chessboard! He is the same who denounced the Islamist “fifth column” and who admires Macron today. It is a migratory bird.

In terms of ideas, it is sometimes difficult to understand what differentiates you from Horizons…
Public spending, which increased from 1.4% to 2.6%, before the Covid crisis, is the work of Édouard Philippe. This without bringing any reform. To give in to the thugs, to the thugs of Notre-Dame des Landes, it’s him too! Horizons is a gathering of opportunists who wanted a seat.

You do not imagine any reconciliation in the long term?
I am not Madame Soleil. For now, we are on totally different lines.

1. A public meeting is scheduled for Monday at 6:30 p.m., Scarantino room, 1 rue du Stade in Six-Fours. 2. On January 19, when asked about the advisability of lowering VAT on the price of petrol, the candidate Pécresse replied on BFMTV: “On petrol, we don’t have the money today to lower VAT at 5.5%. It’s just not financially possible, or else I’m not raising wages.”

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