Mitt Romney, wrapping up a six-day international trip clouded by criticism, praised Polish “free enterprise” as a model to help Europe solve its debt crisis.
“As some wonder about the way forward out of economic recession and fiscal crisis, the answer is to look to Poland,” Romney said today in a speech at the University of Warsaw.
On the campaign trail, Mitt Romney mocks [Europe] as “a social welfare state” and an “entitlement nation.” He rails that it smothers entrepreneurs and innovators. And he says it is simply not working.
...But as he wrapped up his seven-day trip here, which began in London last week and ended on Tuesday in Warsaw, a more nuanced view of Europe emerged: there is also the Europe symbolized by Poland, where “a march toward economic liberty and smaller government has meant a march toward higher living standards,” in contrast with the Europe he often derides on the campaign trail.
That Europe, which some conservatives label the “old Europe,” is symbolized by the troubles of the euro zone, where heavy regulation and a vast social welfare network, they maintain, has led to an intractable economic crisis.
The presumptive Republican nominee plans to jet across the continent without setting foot inside the eurozone, the 17 countries bound together by a shared currency that are struggling to rescue the debt-ridden nations of Greece, Italy and Spain...
In some ways it’s wise for Romney to skip venturing deep into the crisis since he has little chance to influence economic policy in Europe. But those following the sovereign debt crisis wondered why he didn’t try to squeeze in a visit to Germany, the eurozone country with the resources to engineer bailouts for Greece, Italy and Spain.
Romney, for well on a year now, has been insisting that under the president's leadership the US faces sclerotic European decline. Nothing new among GOP candidates, of course. But now that Europe really is in serious trouble, the line sticks a lot better.
Last week, Romney dismissed Obama's economic record and said he wasn't leading the country forward, but "forward on the way to Greece".
The United States will not bail out European countries if the eurozone economy falls apart under a spiraling debt crisis, Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney said Sunday.
"We're not going to send checks to Europe. We're not going to bail out the European banks. We're going to be poised here to support our economy," Romney told CBS television's "Face the Nation" program.
In an op-ed in Handelsblatt, Germany's leading business newspaper, R Glenn Hubbard, the dean of the Columbia Business School [and senior economic advisor to Mitt Romney], said Obama's strategy was "unwise" and revealed "ignorance of the causes of the crisis and of a growth trend in the future."
In the piece, Hubbard said it was a mistake for the US to encourage Germany to "stand up financially weak governments and banks in the eurozone".
But Obama and Romney have barely mentioned the euro zone crisis since a slew of disappointing economic indicators pushed Europe's woes to the fore last week.
...For both candidates, the risks of dwelling on Europe's financial problems simply outweigh the possible benefits.
...Romney, meanwhile, could undermine his argument that Obama has mishandled the U.S. economic recovery if he tries to blame the president for decisions that have been made in Berlin, Paris and Athens.
While Romney was adament that the U.S. should not move to bail out Italy, or banks holding Italian debt, he stopped short of calling for an exit from the International Monetary Fund.
“I’m happy to continue to participate in world efforts like the World Bank and the IMF,” he said, “but I’m not happy to have the United States government put in place a TARP-like program to try and save U.S. banks that have Italian debt, foreign banks doing business in the U.S. that have Italian debt, or European debt.”
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney said during CNBC’s Republican presidential debate that he would not bail out Italy’s struggling economy even if that nation’s debt problems threatened to sink the entire European financial system.
“Europe is able to take care of their own problems,” he said Wednesday night when asked if the U.S. had a stake in the eurozone’s continuing economic struggles. “We don’t want to step in and try and bail out their banks and bail out their governments. They have the capacity to deal with that themselves. They’re a very large economy.”
Right now, America is in crisis. We don’t need to think about a hypothetical of what happens if Europe explodes and pulls us under, although if that does happen, you want to have someone who is smart, who has experience, who knows how the financial services sector works, who knows how to protect American jobs, and I do. I have done it.
Clearly, if you think the entire financial system is going to collapse, you take action to keep that from happening. In the case of Europe right now, they are looking at what’s happening with Greece. Are they going to default on their debt, are they not?
...But I can tell you this - I’m not interested in bailing out individual institutions that have wealthy people that want to make sure that their shares are worth something.