Laschet scandal: Chancellor candidate laughs in the flood area during Steinmeier speech – “Not okay”

  • OfAnna-Katharina Ahnefeld

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While Federal President Steinmeier gives consolation in the face of the storm, Laschet laughs in the background. An unfavorable picture for a candidate for chancellor.

Update from July 18, 9 p.m .: Armin Laschet (CDU) described his laugh as inappropriate during the speech by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. “I was out all day, there were emotional encounters that really shook me. And that’s why I’m all the more annoyed about these few seconds, “said the Union Chancellor candidate on Sunday evening of the” Current Hour “on WDR television. “That was inappropriate, it’s not okay to laugh at a moment like this.”

On WDR television, he further stated that he had not understood a word of what the Federal President had said. “But it’s still inappropriate, inappropriate at such a moment. I am annoyed about it and I am sincerely sorry because I am currently experiencing a lot of suffering and have spoken to so many people and I want to express this regret with all my might. “

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Message from July 18, 5:20 p.m .: Erftstadt – The appearance of Armin Laschet (CDU) in the flood area remains an issue – an unpleasant one for the Union Chancellor candidate. At the weekend, a video sequence of Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s speech in Erftstadt, which was particularly hard hit by the storm, circulated on the Internet. While Steinmeier expresses his dismay at the tragic situation, Laschet can be seen in the background laughing with bystanders, apparently joking. There is controversial discussion on social media: Does the CDU leader have the format to lead the next federal government?

The hashtags “LaschetDarfNichtKanzlerWerden” and “Laschetlacht” trended on Twitter on Saturday. A WDR interview had already caused a sensation before, in which the North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister forgot the name of the presenter several times – and stated that politics would not be changed immediately because of such a day.

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SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil started the attack in view of the pictures. “The way Armin Laschet fools around in the background while the Federal President speaks to the victims is indecent and outrageous,” he said Picture on sunday. He railed: “In times of crisis, it is said that character shows itself. Anyone who sneers around in such difficult situations without feeling disqualifies himself. “

Armin Laschet reacted to the allegations on Saturday evening and apologized. But the criticism continues. The snotty interview responses to the WRD, the laughter in the background, all of this adds up to an unfavorable picture in view of the upcoming federal election. The discussion hits Laschet at a difficult moment. Because in the voter polls things have recently been up a bit for the Union.

Also SPD Chancellor candidate Scholz and Green Chancellor candidate Baerbock in the disaster area

The pianist Igor Levit wrote on Twitter after the incident that he could think of two candidates for chancellor, “them such undignified behavior would not have happened ”. SPD Chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz spoke to Malu Dreyer, Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate, with those affected in Bad Neuenahr about the consequences of the flood disaster. On Sunday he travels to Berchtesgadener Land to meet with Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU). A disaster was also declared there after heavy rain.

Green Chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock initially only expressed her sympathy in writing. She went to the affected regions of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia later than other top politicians and without the press. Baerbock, however, is the only one of the three candidates for chancellor to hold no government office.

Laschet apologizes for “impression” in the flood area – the size of the CDU supports the candidate for chancellor

Laschet later announced that he regretted “the impression created by a conversation situation”. He admitted: “This was inappropriate and I am sorry.” The CDU chairman emphasized: “The fate of those affected is close to our hearts, which we have heard of in many conversations.” In fact, after Steinmeier left, Laschet visited still in an emergency shelter. With a serious expression he listened to the people who talk about the horrors of the past few days.

Later, from the group that laughed with Laschet, the district administrator of the Rhein-Erft district, Frank Rock, answered. He speaks of a stressful, emotionally charged situation and explains: “If I have hurt people’s feelings with it, I apologize expressly. Even the district administrator is only human and makes mistakes. “

There are also people who defend Laschet, who as an election campaigner and head of the state government in the disaster area is under enormous pressure, against criticism. One of them is the former CDU member of the Bundestag Ruprecht Polenz. He writes on Twitter: “Laschet made a mistake. He apologized. Now there is criticism that he only apologizes for “the impression”. The impression that was created: Laschet laughs at the suffering (read in dozens of comments). This impression could arise – but it was wrong. ”Others think that there should be no laughing ban anywhere, not even on sad occasions. (aka with material from dpa)

Header list image: © Marius Becker

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