The claim that because some of her friends are Arabs she cannot be described as a racist is just the latest in a very long list of statements Nadine Morano has made over the years which have put her fairly and squarely in the firing line for ridicule.
|Nadine Morano (screenshot "C à vous")|
Morano, you might remember, was the woman for whom there was no difference between "Renault" the French car manufacturer, and "Renaud" the singer.
Oh yes, Morano was well known for her blunders during her time as a junior minister and later a full ministerial post under her former boss Nicolas Sarkozy.
She was one of his most fervent - rabidly so, some might say - supporters, not afraid to disengage her tongue from her brain and whenever television, radio or press needed a rent-a-mouth quote, Morano was on hand to oblige.
Her views already appeared at times somewhat extreme in a centre-right Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (Union for a Popular Movement, UMP) party some of whose members often flirted with the ideas of the far-right Front National (FN).
She once described gay pride parades as an "excuse for exhibitionism" and on another occasion she earned the wrath of the French anti-racist non-governmental organisation SOS Racisme when she turned around and said France's young Moslems should, "dress properly, find a job and stop speaking slang".
So perhaps it should come as no surprise that Morano's real colours shone through during the recent parliamentary elections.
First of all Morano gave an interview with the weekly far-right magazine Minute in which she openly called on those who had voted Front National in the first round to help her defeat her Socialist party rival Dominique Potier in the second-round run-off for the Meurthe et Moselle constituency seat she was trying to hold on to.
"We share common values," she said of herself and those FN voters.
And shortly after that interview appeared, Morano found herself "tricked" by radio presenter and comedian Gérald Dahan, who rang her pretending to be Louis Aliot, FN's vice and the partner of the party's leader Marine Le Pen.
Morano told "Aliot" (Dahan) that Le Pen was a woman with "a lot of talent" and the Front National a party which had "a lot of social policies with which I agree."
Fear not though, because Morano is clearly neither a racist nor a xenophobe - in the same way as the FN is simply a party which has built up its support based in its belief in the importance of French values and the threat they are under from immigration.
How do we know?
Because Morano said as much on the early evening magazine "C à vous" on France 5 last week, when she was talking about how difficult the parliamentary campaign had been and how hurtful she had found all those inaccurate accusations of racism.
"Some of my closest friends are Arabs," she said, saving the best to follow.
"And then there's my best friend who is originally from Chad - so she's even blacker than an Arab."
Out of government and out of parliament (she lost in that run-off against Potier) let's just hope it's a long, long time before we hear from Morano again - if ever.