French President Emmanuel Macron used his toast at the White House state dinner Thursday to warn that democratic elections and other values and principles shared by both the US and France “are at risk.”
“We come from the same values, principles,” Macron said as he stood next to President Biden on the South Lawn of the White House, inside a temporary glass pavilion setup for the extravagant event honoring America’s first ally.
“These principles are at risk, are challenged even in our societies, in our democracies, a lot of people just want to jeopardize or reverse these principles, challenging elections,” Macron continued, according to a White House pool report.
“Long live the United States of America, long live France, and long live the friendship between our two countries,” Macron said in French as he concluded his toast.
Before Macron’s toast, Biden, 80, raised his glass “to France” and “to the history that binds us and to the values that still unite us.”
“Vive la France and God Bless America,” Biden said before the two leaders clinked glasses.
Thursday’s White House state dinner was the first to be hosted by Biden as president.
Celebrity guests including actresses Jennifer Garner and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, singer John Legend, CBS “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert, “Morning Joe” hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski and “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts were among the distinguished diners.
Before being treated to late-night entertainment by New Orleans singer Jon Batiste, guests dined on Maine lobster and caviar, American artisanal cheeses, and orange chiffon cake, accompanied by a selection of California wines.