Armin Laschet’s laughter during a visit to the Ahr Valley flood area became a decisive turning point in the chancellor’s election campaign. A year later, the CDU politician speaks about the momentous faux pas.

Even a year after his laughter during a visit to the Ahr Valley, former Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia Armin Laschet regrets the situation. “I was moved from the very first minute by the echo it triggered,” said Laschet in the RTL / ntv interview with Ulrich Klose.

He broke off his vacation at the time, was out and about day and night and “sat together with many people who were affected, also cried.” All the more regrettable “that such a laughing situation then arises within a few seconds.”

One year after the flood disaster – Steinmeier and Scholz in the Ahr Valley

The scene took place during a speech by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Cameras recorded CDU chancellor candidate Armin Laschet laughing in the background. “For a few seconds, this picture was one that I still regret to this day, which I’m sorry for, but which I can no longer get rid of,” said Laschet in an interview.

Laschet does not want to say why he laughed back then. “It was just a completely superfluous comment,” said the CDU politician.

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The CDU chancellor candidate at the time also believes that the laugh had an impact on the federal election, even if it was not the only decisive factor. “Only the people who saw it back then didn’t see the person I am,” says Laschet.

He is a very empathetic person who takes sympathy. He doesn’t know if that will ever let go of him. Even if he meets many people today who know “that their prime minister was someone else”, it is a very annoying image that will come up again and again.

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