Sarkozy Rips 'Idiot' Citizen

French prez has a cow at agriculture show
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2008 4:28 AM CST

(Newser) – In his latest popularity blunder, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been captured on tape calmly skewering a French citizen who refused to shake his hand at an agricultural show in Paris. "Get lost, you idiot," Sarkozy zings in a sanitized translation when the man tells the president he doesn't want to be "dirtied" by him. Hundreds of thousands of people have checked out the exchange on the internet.

Sarkozy's trip to the exhibit, where he glad-handed crowds of farmers and agricultural workers, was intended to highlight his strategy to convince UNESCO to recognize French cuisine as part of global heritage to afford it some economic protections. But the encounter did nothing to help Sarkozy's declining popularity, which has sunk 9 points in the last month to a mere 38% approval rating.