The conversation between Obama and Sarkozy was accidentally caught on a live mic, according to Reuters.
"I cannot bear Netanyahu; he's a liar," Sarkozy said.
"You're fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you," Obama replied, according to the French interpreter.
Romney’s fellow GOP presidential contender Michele Bachmann demanded Obama apologize.
"I call on President Obama to immediately apologize to Prime Minister Netanyahu and I also believe that the president should demonstrate leadership and demand that the French President Sarkozy do the same," Bachmann told reporters on Tuesday.
Israel has already been a touchy topic in the campaign, with many Republican candidates critical of Obama’s support of Israel. Romney, Bachmann, and Rick Perry all criticized Obama for not taking a stronger stand over a plan by Palestinian officials to request that the United Nations Security Council grant them a sovereign state at the UN General Assembly.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Tuesday maintained that Obama’s record proves his consistent support of Israel, but refused to comment specifically on the conversation.
“I will say that it’s well known that the President and that the U.S. and France did not agree on the UNESCO vote regarding the Palestinians,” Carney said. UNESCO voted to allow Palestinians full membership in the UN, a move opposed by the administration because Obama has said it undermines direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.