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Sarkozy on the offensive

Saturday, April 28, 2012 - 02:42

April 28 - At a campaign rally a little over a week before the second round of the French elections, French President Sarkozy goes on the offensive. Deborah Lutterbeck reports

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy on the attack. A fired up Sarkozy, in a bid to save his job told supporters that the Socialists had got it wrong when they say that he is moving to the right in a bid to tap into the pool of Marine Le Pen's National Front voters. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY SAYING: "They have discovered all of a sudden, between last Sunday's first round elections and the Monday before the second round, my political project has changed. It has gone from being republican to extremist. In fact, between the first and the second round, I didn't change anything in the letter I wrote to the French. I have not made a single new proposition." Sarkozy defended immigration as the central issue for voters and attacked socialists frontrunner Francois Hollande for his lack of clarity on the issue. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY SAYING: "Are there too many foreigners in France or not enough? Five times he (Hollande) refused to answer it. Should I think that the one who claims to want to be president of the republic, just more that a week before May 6, has no idea about what will be the policies of immigration that he will conduct during the five years if he is elected. None. After five questions he finally said, we will think about it." Sarkozy said he understood what many National Front voters were saying. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY SAYING: "They (National Front voters) have said that we are a country that comes from far, we have a history. We want to be welcoming to others but we want people to respect our history, consider our identity. They say to the people responsible Stop hiding behind your little finger. Recognize and assert the identity of France. Assert particularly that France has Christian roots." Polls show Sarkozy will likely lose the May 6 runoff largely because of his failure to meet promises to lower stubbornly high unemployment in the euro zone's second largest economy. Sarkozy, who would become the first French president to lose a re-election bid in more than 30 years, received a fresh blow Thursday when the jobless rate hit its highest level since September 1999. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters

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Sarkozy on the offensive

Saturday, April 28, 2012 - 02:42