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Photo: Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call

Controversial former French politician Marion Maréchal-Le Pen spoke from the main stage at CPAC this afternoon, promoting the traditional Catholic values of her country in the face of increased immigration and Islamic culture. She told the audience, "France is in the process of passing from the eldest daughter of the Catholic Church to the little niece of Islam — and the terrorism is only the tip of the iceberg."

All I want is the survival of my nation ... [The young French generation is] brainwashed with guilt and shame of their country. The result is the development of an Islamic culture in France.
— Marion Maréchal-Le Pen at CPAC

More from her speech:

  • "I hope that you see me as less terrifying than the American media depicts me."
  • "I am not offended when I hear President Donald Trump say, 'America First.' In fact, I want 'America First' for the American people, I want 'Britain First' for the British people, and I want 'France First' for the French people."
  • "We want our country back. I came here to tell you that there is a youth ready for this fight in Europe today — a youth who believes in hard work, who believes that their flag means something, who wants to defend individual freedom and private property..."

Matt Schlapp, chair of the American Conservative Union, told Axios about CPAC's decision to invite Maréchal-Le Pen: "We believe that she represents a more enlightened and appropriate approach on the key issues than other members of her family."

Go deeper: Maréchal-Le Pen, Farage join the Trump show at CPAC.

Go deeper

CPAC Republicans choose conservatism over constituents

Rep. Matt Gaetz. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

CPAC proved such a draw, conservative Republicans chose the conference over their constituents.

Why it matters: More than a dozen House Republicans voted by proxy on the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill in Washington so they could speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC. And Sen. Ted Cruz skipped an Air Force One flight as President Biden flew to Cruz's hometown of Houston to survey storm damage.

Border Democrat warns Biden about immigrant fallout

Henry Cuellar (right). Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images

A Democratic lawmaker representing a border district warned the Biden administration against easing up too much on unauthorized immigrants, citing their impact on his constituents, local hospitals and their potential to spread the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) told Axios he supports President Biden. But the moderate said he sees the downsides of efforts to placate pro-immigrant groups, an effort that threatens to blow up on the administration.

In CPAC speech, Trump says he won't start a 3rd party

Trump at CPAC on Feb. 28 in Orlando, Florida. Photo: Courtesy of C-SPAN.

In his first public speech since leaving office, former President Trump told the audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that he would not start a third party because "we have the Republican party."

Why it matters: The former president aims to cement himself as Republicans' "presumptive 2024 nominee" as his top contenders — including former members of his administration — face the challenge of running against the GOP's most popular politician.