French President Becomes Online Sensation

    February 25, 2008

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is receiving a lot of attention online for a video in which he tells a bystander to "get lost".

Sarkozy was filmed by a journalist from the newspaper Le Parisien while attending an annual farm fair in Paris on Saturday. Sarkozy went to shake a mans hand who in response said," Don’t touch me, you are soiling me." Sarkozy replied while still smiling," Get lost, dumb ass."

The video was posted on the Le Parisien’s Web site and has been seen by more than a million people, according to a spokeswoman for the newspaper." It has created quite a controversy," she told Reuters. The video is also popular on Dailymotion and YouTube.

Sarkozy had another incident in November when a fisherman protesting high fuel prices insulted the president. Sarkozy responded by challenging the fisherman to "Come down and say that. Don’t think by insulting me you will solve fishermen’s problems."

Francois Hollande, leader of the Socialist party, said Sarkozy was not acting like a head of state and said he should improve his behavior. "One should not get into a brawl…One does not call down a fisherman or a worker to explain what he said, one does not get into a fight with someone who does not want to shake your hand," Hollande said on pay-TV channel Canal plus.

Sarkozy’s approval rating fell by 9 percent in a month to 38 percent according to a poll in France, analysts say the drop is due to voters who are disappointed with the lack of economic growth and increased incomes.