triumph on television: Laschet, Scholz and Baerbock at the Chancellor Test |

Berlin (dpa) – If Armin Laschet is nervous, he may hide it pretty well that night.

During the first major exchange of televised shots, the candidate chancellor, immensely under pressure from the Union, speaks with determination and above all calmly on Sunday evening on RTL and ntv, betting on the attack, refraining from annoyed reactions and new errors .

It’s all or nothing for him: if he upsets the first TV triad four weeks before the federal elections, the prospect of defending Angela Merkel in the Chancellery after 16 years should drop to zero. Both the Union polls are disastrous, the candidate’s popularity ratings are catastrophic.

Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who with his SPD is well ahead of the Union von Laschet in the polls, sticks to the successful course of recent weeks: he shows himself a statesman as a possible successor of the still very popular Chancellor of the CDU. When Laschet and Baerbock collapse into the discussion, he often leans back rather relaxed.

Baerbock relies on attacks on both sides from the start. She is cheerful after having often seemed cautious after her failed start to the campaign. He seems aggressive and calls for a fundamental renewal. Of course, because she is in opposition, Laschet and Scholz belong to the parties that currently form the government. Baerbock and his Greens had crept behind Scholz and the SPD in recent weeks, they now need to catch up – in order to get a strong result from the Greens, although the Chancellery will not work either.

Virtually no personal attack

From the start, it becomes clear how the roles are distributed that evening. “The years of waiting of the grand coalition of the SPD and the CDU have done this country no good. Now we need a real start, ”says Baerbock.

When moderators wanted to know from Scholz why Laschet couldn’t be chancellor, the current vice-chancellor replied: “I think that is not the style that we have to cultivate in Germany, that we say what they say. say others can not. We should announce what is important to us. And Laschet also says he would like to “also adhere to the fact that I advertise what I represent.” He ruled a great country with all the contrasts that exist in Germany.

The two hours of Triell are tough in terms of content, but largely without personal attacks. Regarding Afghanistan, Scholz and Laschet are more on the defensive vis-à-vis Baerbock than the representatives of the government coalition. Greens keep representatives of government parties away, describe images of frightened people crowding into evacuation planes: “This is where my heart sinks”.

Laschet takes a long time to publicize his plans for a National Security Council. Scholz and his SPD prevent the use of drones to protect the Bundeswehr, Baerbock abstained from the last Afghan mandate, rages the head of the CDU. “Stick to the facts,” says Scholz. Baerbock is annoyed that Laschet doesn’t just read his speech leaflet, please.

When it comes to Corona, the bandages are also tough. The vice-chancellor claims to be a warner, Laschet also says to be careful, but: “We will have to live with the virus.” When the NRW Prime Minister was told a zigzag course in corona politics, he reacted a little annoyed: For him, it was always about weighing protection against the virus and the other consequences. “Some malicious people” would have called it a zigzag course. When Baerbock hit the nail on the head with the air filters that are still often lacking in schools, he could have scored points with many families.

There is even more acuteness when it comes to the climate theme and moderators want to know what the chancellor candidates wanted to ban first. “Nothing at all,” Laschet said, and argues against Baerbock that the only concept they have is the internal combustion engine ban. Laschet probably didn’t really listen, replied Baerbock quick-witted. Scholz doesn’t want to ban anything either, but holds Laschet against the CDU and Union-led Economy Ministry refusing to raise climate targets anyway. It is becoming clear: the Greens and the SPD are likely to be closer on this issue than the Union and the Greens.

R2G only with a NATO commitment

Taxes, women’s policy, gender language – the public didn’t learn much new that night. When it comes to gender, Laschet says you have to “leave the cups in the cupboard” but be sensitive to those who touch them. But if in the end you don’t know what to say and what not to say, that doesn’t lead to growing confidence in the state.

Laschet tries to push Scholz into a corner when it comes to the Left Party and whether the SPD would form a coalition with him. Scholz has remained true to his line: he excludes nothing but a commitment to NATO, which must appear in every coalition agreement “and also meant from the bottom of his heart”.

While all three candidates are expected to say something nice about each other almost at the end, things get interesting again, especially in the context of possible coalitions after the September 26 election. Scholz calls Baerbock a “very committed politician”, which was also seen in Triell. We have worked well together for a long time and often, “and I hope we find a way to do the same in the future.” Baerbock says of Laschet that she likes “that you can discuss the subject and again, that cheerful nature of the Rhineland, something down to earth” – that’s what politics is.

When Laschet is asked to say something nice about Scholz, the CDU man has to think long and hard. “He’s been with us for a long time, has a lot of experience and has done a decent job under the leadership of Angela Merkel.” It is quite possible that Laschet wanted to disenchant Scholz’s tactic of selling himself as the personified continuation of Merkel’s policies.

According to a first Forsa survey for RTL and ntv immediately after, the recipe did not work – according to this quick survey, at least 36% of viewers consider Scholz to be the winner of the TV debate, 30% Baerbock and only 25% Laschet. But there are still four weeks to go before the elections.

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