PARIS — Marine Le Pen deliberately plagiarized verbatim parts of an address from a former presidential candidate, as a “wink” to him and the voters she hopes to peel away in a runoff, her spokesmen said Tuesday.

Francois Fillon, the former Republican candidate, first delivered the speech on France’s role in Europe and the world on April 15 – just two weeks before Le Pen’s discourse on Monday.

The subject is at the heart of Le Pen’s campaign. She promises to pull France out of the European Union and return to the franc currency, and has denounced globalization’s effects on the French economy and culture.

Three separate spokesmen for Le Pen used the word “wink” to describe the extracts copied word for word from Fillon. At no point in the speech did she cite Fillon or acknowledge the source of the extracts. “I think with part of the right, we have exactly the same vision on the national identity and independence,” Louis Aliot, Front National vice president, told LCI television Tuesday.

Immediately after being eliminated in the first-round vote, Fillon called for his supporters to back her centrist rival, Emmanuel Macron.