Merkel told reporters on Sunday that Laschet, who is the governor of Germany’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia, has the ability to lead.
“Armin Laschet leads this biggest state of Germany very successfully,” Merkel said. “Somebody who can lead such a state can also lead Germany as chancellor.”
Both German politicians toured the city of Hagen and neighboring regions that were badly damaged by floods in July, according to the AP.
Laschet, who also chairs the Christian Democratic Union party, currently trails center-left Social Democrats in polls for the upcoming parliamentary election.
Finance Minister Olaf Scholz, a Social Democrat who serves as Merkel’s vice chancellor, is the favorite in polls due to his relative popularity, the AP noted.
Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Merkel said that she hopes both sides of the government will be fully committed ahead of the election, adding that Laschet has her “full support.”
“There are a lot of things we need to do at the same time: there’s the coronavirus, the floods and then there is also the election,” she said. “I think that together we will do it well — and Armin Laschet knows he has my support.”
Germany’s parliamentary election will take place on Sept. 26, the AP noted.