He was my minister for five years. He is a very talented boy with whom I have ties of friendship, "summarized Nicolas Sarkozy at the evocation of Laurent Wauquiez, at the microphone of RTL this Monday morning. Before adding: "I prefer when he speaks than when he is silent." The remark comes as the president of the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region, whose speech is rare, spoke this Sunday at the summer campus of the Young LR to clearly display his presidential ambitions. "I'm ready!" he exclaimed in Valencia.
If Nicolas Sarkozy seems to gauge his former minister, it is because the former happy candidate of 2007 is looking for a contender for the "Republican right". "For all those who (...) do not want to be reduced to a choice between Mr. Mélenchon and Mrs. Le Pen, we must have a republican right, "reiterated Nicolas Sarkozy on RTL. During his invitation to the 20 hours of TF1 at the end of August, the former president of the Republic already decreed that the "only effective bulwark" against the victory of Marine Le Pen in 2027 would be a "candidate of the Republican right" capable of "federating the elements of the right who are in the majority of Emmanuel Macron and the elements of the right who are in the opposition".
"The leader is never the one you designate"
The former mayor of Neuilly goes from his own experience, brandishing his majority of then, which "went from Bernard Kouchner to Philippe de Villiers". To justify the need for a right-wing alliance, the former tenant of the Élysée returned to the historic defeat of the Republicans in the presidential election of 2022: "When my own political family is below 5% in the presidential elections, it kills itself." Thus, according to him, "the risk of elongation by enlargement is always less serious than that of retraction".
Considering the chances of success of Laurent Wauquiez, the "natural" candidate of the right according to Eric Ciotti, Nicolas Sarkozy nevertheless qualified his remarks, judging that "the leader is never the one we designate" but the one who "is built in difficulty, alone".
But other potential candidates are also taking advantage of his good graces. Already in his book Le Temps des combats, which looks back on the second half of his five-year term, the former President of the Republic did not hide his friendship for Gérald Darmanin whose "success would please (him)". If Nicolas Sarkozy recalled on RTL his cordial feelings to the Minister of the Interior, he concluded, evasively: "We will see the one who will detach.»