Former President Barack Obama jumped back into politics on Thursday, endorsing French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron in a video addressed to the French people.
"I am supporting Emmanuel Macron to lead you forward," Obama said after praising the centrist candidate for standing up for "liberal values." Macron leads right-wing candidate Marine Le Pen in an average of recent polls that was published by the Telegraph.
Barack Obama endorses Emmanuel Macron pic.twitter.com/REFYahl7uM
— Mathieu von Rohr (@mathieuvonrohr) May 4, 2017
Obama indicated that although he planned to not get involved with many elections after office, the French election was "very important" and therefore warranted an exception.
Macron is running against Le Pen in a run-off election scheduled for Sunday. Voters chose Macron and Le Pen over other candidates in an April election that the New York Times described as the "most consequential election in recent history."
Obama wished Macron "all the best" just before the April election, but stopped short of endorsing him for president, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
"The main message I have is to wish you all the best in the coming days and make sure that, as you said, you work hard all the way through because you never know, it might be that last day of campaigning that makes all the difference," Obama told Macron in a phone conversation posted to Macron's Twitter timeline.