In his bid to become Germany's next chancellor, Armin Laschet disproves the old adage that laughter is the best medicine. The story that Merkel's successor was publicly laughed at will clearly not add to his electoral points, writes Politico.
Laschete was fiercely criticized last month for laughing at the most inopportune moment during a visit to a flood-ravaged city.
On Friday, history repeated itself. Only now it was the CDU leader himself who was laughed at.
The incident took place during a meeting between Lachet and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
The meeting was an important part of the conservative leader's campaign to demonstrate his forward-thinking economic views.
вЂњWhat is the future of cars, hydrogen or electric? вЂ” Laschete asked Musk after touring Tesla's new plant near Berlin.
вЂњDefinitely electric, hydrogen is a waste of time, obviously,вЂќ Musk replied, before bursting into a long, piercing laugh, while Lachet tried to explain in German that there is a вЂњscientific debateвЂќ about which technology will prevail in the long term.
Like many German politicians, the North Rhine-Westphalia prime minister believes that Germany could become a pioneer in hydrogen vehicles, Politico notes. Musk, on the other hand, believes that the idea of using hydrogen for cars on a large scale is вЂњstupidвЂќ because of the difficulties associated with the production, delivery, and storage of this fuel.
As previously written, the rating of the main favorites of the September elections, the Christian Democrats of Angela Merkel led by Lachet continues to fall. It has fallen 3% to 23%. Meanwhile, just a month ago the Conservatives had 30% and were clear favorites in the national parliamentary elections. The SPD and the Greens are only 3-4% behind.
If Germans could choose the chancellor directly, according to a poll by Forsa, SPD representative Olaf Scholz would outperform his rivals: CDU leader Armin Lachette and Green Party leader Annalena Baerbock. Scholz's rating rose by 5 percent to 26 percent. Baerbock's rating dropped 2% to 16%, and Laschete lost 3% and now has only 12%. The Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia has recently made some gross mistakes, unforgivable for an experienced politician, and has moved from favorites to outsiders.