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Published April 27, 2017
The Latest on France's presidential election (all times local):
Marine Le Pen has gone fishing for votes — literally. The far-right French presidential candidate spent several hours, from before dawn on Thursday, on a fishing trawler on the Mediterranean Sea.
The sea trip was the latest television-friendly effort by Le Pen to paint herself as the candidate of France's workers against her centrist rival Emmanuel Macron, whom she portrays as representing the business, political and European Union elite.
After her voyage aboard the "Grace of God 2" trawler, Le Pen said: "My grandfather was a fisherman, so I am in my element."
The anti-EU populist said that if she is elected on May 7, France will take back control of its maritime policies. She again tore into former banker and finance minister Macron and his more economically liberal program.
France is furiously debating who out of Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron won "the battle of Whirlpool" — the remarkable clash of styles on Wednesday when both presidential candidates stumped for blue-collar votes at a closure-threatened appliance factory in northern France.
Former presidential candidate Francois Bayrou — a Macron ally — is awarding victory to the centrist former economy minister, saying Macron showed courage by spending over an hour trying to talk with angry workers at the Whirlpool plant in Amiens.
He was dismissive of Le Pen's much shorter visit, saying: "She stayed 10 minutes, with selfies and smiles, and that's not a presidential campaign."