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Sarkozy outburst hurts his declining image

French President Nicolas Sarkozy gestures as he speaks during a press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, January 8, 2008. Sarkozy said his relationship with Italian singer and former model Carla Bruni was serious but he dodged giving a wedding date. (UPI Photo/Eco Clement)
French President Nicolas Sarkozy gestures as he speaks during a press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, January 8, 2008. Sarkozy said his relationship with Italian singer and former model Carla Bruni was serious but he dodged giving a wedding date. (UPI Photo/Eco Clement) | License Photo

PARIS, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Video of French President Nicolas Sarkozy telling someone to "get lost" at an event in Paris is an Internet hit but reportedly bad for his declining image.

A man allegedly refused to shake Sarkozy's hand at the annual International Agriculture Fair in Paris, a report from Euronews.net said Monday. The man then reportedly told Sarkozy, "Don't touch me, you'll make me dirty," to which Sarkozy replied, "Get lost then, you sad idiot!"

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The chairman of the French Socialist Party, Francois Hollande, criticized the action, saying Sarkozy "is not setting an example."

"He is not an ordinary citizen and can't just come out with whatever he might be thinking. He is the president of France," Hollande told Euronews.net.

Sarkozy's public approval is decline and the outburst at the agricultural fair hurts his chances with the rural vote in the upcoming municipal elections, the report said.

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