A day after he returned from an awkward trip to France where he was apparently criticized in a speech by French President Emmanuel Macron, Donald Trump took to his Twitter account to chide Macron over his “very low approval rating,” even though Trump’s own approval rating stands at a record low, according to the average of all polls compiled by FiveThirtyEight.
After Trump at a campaign rally on October 24 declared himself a “nationalist,” as USA Today reported, Macron gave a speech with Trump looking on at a World War I memorial service in France on Sunday — the 100th anniversary of the end of that war — in which he directly condemned the ideology of “nationalism,” in what was widely seen as a message to Trump.
“By putting our own interests first, with no regard for others, we erase the very thing that a nation holds dearest, and the thing that keeps it alive: its moral values,” Macron said in the speech, as quoted in the Washington Post.
Trump was apparently stewing about the rebuke for two days, finally unloading on Macron in a series of early morning Twitter messages on Tuesday, chiding the French president on serval topics, including his approval rating.
“The problem is that Emmanuel suffers from a very low Approval Rating in France, 26%, and an unemployment rate of almost 10%. He was just trying to get onto another subject,” Trump wrote on his Twitter account, adding that “there is no country more Nationalist than France.”
Trump is correct that Macron currently suffers from a 26 percent approval rating, as of a poll released October 31, according to Politico. But what Trump did not say is that French presidents in recent years have all been hit by similarly low approval ratings.
In October of 2013, then-President Francois Hollande also hit what was then a French record low of 26 percent approval, according to The Guardian newspaper.
In fact, 18 months into his term — the same point where Macron now stands — Hollande registered a 21 percent approval rating, while Hollande’s predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy had a better, but still disastrous 39 percent approval rating, according to Politico.
While Trump’s approval rating in the United States remains higher than Macron’s in France, Trump’s own rating languishes at a record low. His current average rating, in the FiveThirtyEight average, stands at 41.8 percent. That’s lower at the same point in his term than any previous United States president since approval rating polls were first taken in 1945. In fact, a Gallup poll released on Monday showed Trump with a dismal 38 percent approval rating.
In a Pew Research poll last week of American confidence in world leaders, Macron ranked number one, with 59 percent of Americans saying they have confidence in Macron “to handle world affairs.” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (57 percent) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (55 percent) ranked third, followed by Trump. Less than half of all Americans, 48 percent said they have confidence in Trump on the world stage.