Sarkozy also dismissed suggestions that his conservative party UMP helped discredit former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
Strauss-Kahn was considered the leading presidential hopeful a year ago but was then arrested and charged with assaulting a New York hotel maid. The charges were later dropped. A report in the London-based Guardian newspaper says Strauss-Kahn believes his political opponents sabotaged him.
Cecile Brisson and Sylvie Corbet in Paris and Johanna Decorse in Toulouse contributed to this report.