Former President Barack Obama formally endorsed French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron Thursday, marking one of his first forays into politics since leaving office.
Obama announced his endorsement in a Twitter video on Macron’s feed, in which he called the centrist candidate someone who “appeals to people’s hopes and not their fears.”
“I have admired the campaign that Emmanuel Macron has run,” Obama said. “He has stood up for liberal values, he put forward a vision for the important role that France plays in Europe and around the world. And he is committed to a better future for the French people. He appeals to people’s hopes and not their fears.”
Macron is currently running against far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, a race that has, of course, brought up comparisons to Trump and the 2016 U.S. presidential race.
Obama had supported Macron in the past but had declined to formally endorse him until now. He said in the video that he does not plan on stepping into too many other races, but that the French election was too important not to speak up about.
“I’m not planning to get involved in many elections now that I don’t have to run for office again, but the French election is very important to the future of France and to the values that we care so much about,” Obama said.
Watch the clip below via Twitter:
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) May 4, 2017