Sarkozy shows his temper to US TV audience

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WASHINGTON, Oct 29 (Reuters) French President Nicolas Sarkozy showed flashes of temper and abruptly terminated a television interview aimed at introducing him to US audiences.

In the interview with CBS' ''60 Minutes'' broadcast on Sunday, the French president sparred with the US correspondent, called his press secretary an imbecile, said he was too busy to make time for a ''stupid'' interview and ended the whole conversation abruptly when asked about the state of his marriage to Cecilia.

The Sarkozys' divorce was announced about two weeks later.

''If I had something to say about Cecilia, I would not do so here,'' he said before cutting off further questions.

In two interviews, a brief one aboard an airplane and a more formal one several weeks ago, he expressed his admiration for both the US work ethic and its pop music.

Asked about his father's fears years ago that anyone with a Hungarian last name like Sarkozy could not succeed in France, he said one thing he admires about the US democracy is its openness and opportunities to all kinds of people.

''You can be called Schwarzenegger and be governor of California,'' he said.

REUTERS SZ PM0559

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