Deputy Zoff at "Maischberger" shows how bare the nerves are in the Union

Markus Söder was supposed to be Sandra Maischberger's guest. But because of the open K question, he preferred to send CSU colleague Dorothee Bär into the ring. The digital minister fought a heated duel with CDU presidium member Serap Güler. 

Armin Laschet and Markus Söder could hardly have done it better themselves: In the ARD talk by Sandra Maischberger late on Wednesday evening, the Union's K question was really down to earth. Söder should actually be a guest himself, but withdrew at short notice because of the open inner-party race for the candidacy for chancellor. For him, CSU colleague and digital minister Dorothee Bär stepped in, who represented her party leader with verve. Serap Guler, State Secretary for Integration in North Rhine-Westphalia and a member of the CDU party executive, was in no way inferior to her and just as vehemently held up the flag for her party chairman Armin Laschet. Minutes of a word duel that reveals how cold the nerves in the Union are currently, and how confrontational it can be.

With the very first sentence, Güler opens the dispute between the representatives of the "Laschet team". The 40-year-old reproachfully notes that she expected a different attitude from Söder. Finally would have CDU-The presidium and board clearly voted for Laschet as candidate for chancellor. Bär, on the other hand, insists on “an incredible amount of support” that “we” get - also and not least from the parliamentary group. “And you can't ignore that in a very, very important and fateful election,” said the 42-year-old digital minister with slightly pressed lips.

What Dorothee Bear right now says is not entirely true

When the moderator Sandra Maischberger spoke of "Wortbruch" after a Söder clip, Bär interrupted her with a sour laugh: "Not at all!" was one of the longest “we've ever had”. Bär continues: "And two thirds of the MPs actually spoke out in favor of Markus Söder." Christian Social Union unanimously, the North Rhine-Westphalia "with a few exceptions" for Laschet, but then all the other federal states were in favor of Söder, "you can't ignore that." if the overwhelming majority are in favor of the party chairman of the CSU, then that is a very clear signal, ”the CSU politician advertises for her party leader.

Söder or Laschet ?: Deputy Zoff at "Maischberger" shows how bare the nerves are in the Union

Serap Guler didn't want to leave it like that. She understood Söder to mean that he would bow to a vote of the “big sister” CDU for Laschet. The parliamentary group, like many citizens, “accompanied them with a frown”. The fact that the largest parliamentary group in the Bundestag had to deal "for hours" with personnel issues while the corona pandemic was advancing and the new infection protection law had to be passed was inappropriate, she wrote to her colleagues in Berlin in the studbook. Then it goes directly against Bär: Of around 245 parliamentarians, around 45 or 50 have spoken out and they are not unanimously in favor Markus Söder been. "When the very much esteemed Dorothee Bär is now saying that all the other MPs have spoken out in favor of Markus Söder, I believe that this is not entirely applicable at this point and must also be classified here."

Guler: "Affront" to dismiss the CDU federal executive as a back room

And Güler immediately followed up with a point against Markus Söder: "As a federal board member of the CDU, to be honest, I also find it an affront to dismiss this committee as a back room." In the federal board, "the entire spectrum of the CDU" is represented, including the Prime ministers and the state chairmen, members of the Bundestag and European Parliament, members of the state parliament and - ministers: inside, municipal representatives, the Junge Union and many members of the grassroots - “So if that is not the vast majority of the CDU, then I don't know what it is. "

Bär then first calculates that 66 members of the Bundestag, rather than 40, would have spoken. Then she denied that Söder had said that he would bow to the vote of the CDU bodies, and emphasized that the Bavarian Prime Minister wanted the party's broad approval. The CDU federal executive committee is not a back room, but in the "today's times, where more and more plebiscitary elements are demanded, where participation is demanded ... you can not ignore the whole polls, if today 88 percent say that Markus Söder der a better candidate for chancellor would be… ”. She interrupts herself and pulls Maischberger into the dispute. If Söder had said on Monday that he would withdraw despite 90 percent approval and would not do justice to the responsibility that had been brought to him, “we would have a program today in which you would have said: 'It can't be that you are like that quickly gave in. You can't ignore the will of the voters at this point. "

Hugh, the board of directors has decided that now everyone has to jump

The moderator picks up the gauntlet: “These are surveys. For you, that's the will of the electorate ?! ”Bär replies that polls are important at the moment, because citizens can use them to express“ whom they want to entrust our country to ”. When asked, Güler does not want to accept this: "According to this survey logic of the CSU, the party chairman of the CSU, Markus Söder should not have been allowed to run again as Prime Minister in 2018," she throws in with several shrugs. And further: "I would like to remind you that before the state elections in 2018 Markus Söder was by far the most unpopular Prime Minister of the nation." But it is good that Söder took office at that time, because: "Bavaria has a strong Prime Minister, who therefore always said his place was in Bavaria. "

Maischberger takes up the topic of the survey and quotes Söder with relish: "Surveys are like vows of love, we should only believe half of them." So tell Söder what exactly suits him? Bär brushes aside the reference to the 2018 election as a comparison of apples and pears and has another point against the CDU presidium: “It's a far too serious situation to dismiss the whole thing and say: 'Hugh, the presidium now decided and now everyone has to jump '". The "tough requests to speak" in the Bundestag faction had come "from not a single CSU member", the tough arguments had come from CDU members.

Dorothee Bär and Serap Güler with Sandra Maischberger

Provided insights into the sensitivities of the CSU and CDU during the power struggle between Markus Söder and Armin Laschet: Dorothee Bär (left) and Serap Güler (on screen) with Sandra Maischberger.

© Oliver Ziebe / WDR

Bär does not see Laschet damaged if he should suggest to Söder

After Bär and Maischberger had a battle of words over polls, election results and ratings, Güler takes up the CDU criticism of Armin Laschet in the parliamentary group. “Belonging to the truth, there is no such thing as one basis. Perhaps the base in Franconia is a little different from my home in the Rhineland, where people tell me very clearly (...) that I will leave the CDU if Markus Söder becomes a candidate for chancellor. Everyone receives such letters with different favorites or with different approaches (...) That shouldn't be used here as evidence for the surveys, I don't think that's right. "

Maischberger brings a quote from Friedrich Merz into play, who reproaches the CSU to dismantle the new party leader of the CDU after a few weeks. Bär turns her answer away from Merz: “Do you know what interests me? I am interested in whether we will manage to win Angela Merkel again in a federal election after 16 years. Whether we will manage to put up a candidate who will also be elected by the population so that the CDU and the CSU together, as a team, can carry on Angela Merkel's legacy in the Federal Chancellery. That we won't get a red-red-green federal government, that we won't get any traffic lights. It is not a sure-fire success, it is not in the Basic Law that Angela Merkel has to rule the Union again after 16 years. ”Bär denies that Laschet will be damaged by a decision in favor of Söder. If Laschet takes up the mood in the parliamentary group and base and suggests Söder, "then I don't see why there should be damage."

Guler: "To clear up the legend", everyone is behind Söder

Guler wants to "clear up the legend that the base, the parliamentary group" stand united behind Söder. "Repeating that for the umpteenth time doesn't make it any truer either." What Merz says, what he means, what he is aiming for, you have to ask him. Merz, who lost to Laschet in the election for CDU party leader, kept his word and - as announced after the lost election - stood behind the NRW prime minister "and almost the entire federal board of the CDU does that too". Withdrawing the candidate Laschet would damage the entire CDU. "I don't see any reason at all and I can't think of any argument as to how we should actually make this clear to all of our regional associations."

When asked, the NRW politician admits that the damage caused by the power struggle is "already great". “If the last people's party in the nation spends days on staff debates, that cannot happen at the moment. And to quote Markus Söder at this point: 'The situation is serious.' So, and we are already dealing with these personnel debates on day three and every further day on which this debate continues is a loss for the Union. "Guler refers to all people who are currently directly affected by the consequences of the corona pandemic are concerned. “These people in particular are currently not taking part in any surveys. That should shake us up as a Union. ”Despite everything, she believes that the CDU and CSU will have a good joint election campaign,“ if we come to an agreement quickly, without the little sister thinking that she has to outdo the bigger one . "

Bär: "We had to wait for the CDU"

Bär rejects “whataboutism”, “according to the motto, there are also other challenges”. “Yes, there are,” she says, “but honestly, if we as the CDU and CSU are not even allowed to take a week to answer a question like this ...” Maischberger hooks: “You had a year and a half ... “Not the CDU because the whole time the CDU didn't know who to vote for as party leader,” Bär countered. That's why the CSU had to wait, but that's okay. "I am firmly convinced that we will make a good decision, that will be made this week, and then, I am quite sure, we will campaign together."

For which chancellor candidate the election campaign will be made, the CDU woman and the CSU colleague could not say that evening either.