Status: 03.10.2023, 21:02 p.m.
By: Sebastian Richter
The SPD in Hesse circulated an election video that accused Boris Rhein of being close to the AfD. In a TV discussion, the Prime Minister vented his anger.
Update from Sunday, October 3, 8:57 a.m.: Hesse's CDU Prime Minister Boris Rhein has described an already deleted SPD video on the election campaign in Hesse as "disgusting". With regard to the SPD video, Rhein criticized on Monday evening (September 2) in a television debate on Hessischer Rundfunk: "This is also defamatory."
The top candidates for the Hessian state election, Nancy Faeser (SPD), Federal Minister of the Interior, and Boris Rhein (CDU), Prime Minister of Hesse, following a TV discussion on Hessischer Rundfunk. © Arne Dedert/dpa
The almost 90-second SPD spot for the state election in Hesse had presented a cooperation between the CDU and the AfD as possible. Rhein said that no one rubs their hands as much as the AfD. However, the CDU is not only separated from it by a firewall, but also by a "very deep trench".
Hesse's third candidate for prime minister, Green Economy Minister Tarek Al-Wazir, said in the debate that the SPD itself knew "that this film was a little dirty piece of propaganda." The Rhine and Al-Wazir currently govern together in Hesse. The state election is next Sunday, October 8.
At the same time, Rhein distanced himself from the choice of words of CDU federal leader Friedrich Merz in his highly controversial quote on rejected asylum seekers at dentists. Rhein said: "That's a choice of words you wouldn't have heard from me." However, the issues addressed should also be debated "in the middle of society, so that they are not discussed on the right-wing fringes".
"Personal attack": CDU reacts to SPD apology to election video
Update from Sunday, October 1, 14:12 p.m.: In the election campaign, the mood between the parties is tense anyway. A video of the Hessian SPD about the CDU top candidate Boris Rhein is now causing even more friction. In the meantime, the video has been deleted, SPD General Secretary Christoph Degen has apologized to his colleagues at the CDU. This apology is "noted," as CDU General Secretary Manfred Pentz announced on Sunday.
"The SPD abusive video is another personal attack by the SPD on our top candidate," the CDU politician said. "We take note of Mr. Degen's apology, which he is once again using to stir up resentment against the CDU." The CDU continues to conduct the election campaign "fairly in style and sound and in dealing with our political competitors."
On Saturday, Nancy Faeser, the SPD's top candidate, ordered the deletion of a video. "That's not my style. It has been taken down," said the Federal Minister of the Interior. As general secretary, Degen had declared that he "bears responsibility for this video" and apologized to the CDU.
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Fuss in Hesse: Faeser stops SPD election video about CDU candidate Rhine
First report from Saturday, September 30, 14:07 p.m.: Wiesbaden - A video of the Hessian SPD about the CDU and its top candidate Boris Rhein is causing a stir just under a week before the state election. The SPD top candidate, Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, had stopped the defamatory election video, reported the Berlin "Tagesspiegel" on Saturday, citing Hesse's SPD General Secretary Christoph Degen. Faeser had instructed the party to withdraw the video previously published on Instagram.
The election campaign spot refers to a joint vote of the CDU and AfD in Thuringia and asks: "Is there a threat of such cooperation soon in Hesse? Will Boris Rhein get votes from right-wing extremists?" The video circulated on Saturday on platform X, formerly Twitter. It was no longer visible on the pages of the SPD. Degen could not be reached for a statement by the German Press Agency, nor could the spokesmen for the state party and Faeser.
Election campaign video: "The CDU can no longer be relied on when it comes to the AfD",
In the almost 90-second video, reference is made, among other things, to the former CDU politician Erika Steinbach, who has since joined the AfD and is chairwoman of an AfD-affiliated foundation. A picture of the controversial Wetzlar CDU politician Hans-Jürgen Irmer, who is considered a right-winger in his party, is also displayed. He had recently given up his remaining party offices prematurely - the chairmanship of the CDU district association Lahn-Dill and the chairmanship of the CDU district parliamentary group.
"The CDU can no longer be relied on when it comes to the AfD," says a female voice at the end of the video. "We guarantee that Hesse remains free of right-wing politics." In large white and red letters, it is then displayed: "No black-brown cooperation".
Laschet's lesson from Weimar: "Democrats must stand together"
CDU politician Armin Laschet criticized the video on X. The lesson of Weimar is that democrats must stand together against the danger of the right and not defame each other, he wrote. The fact that Faeser and the SPD acted in this way against "the party of Walter Lübcke" was humanly disappointing and unforgivable. The federal managing director of the Greens, Emily Büning, described the video as "at least questionable". Dpa