Romney Uses Europe Crisis Fear Factor

Romney, who is challenging Obama in the November election, had railed against the president during the Republican primary campaign when he accused him of trying to create a “European-style entitlement society” on US shores.

He toned down the comments after clinching his party’s nomination, only to revive them on his six-state bus tour through small-town America that began on Friday.

Romney didn’t hold back as he addressed more than 500 people at an alloy factory in Weatherly, Pennsylvania.

“If we stay on the road that we’re on we’re going to become like Europe, with a bigger and bigger government demanding more and more, promising more and more and taking more and more,” Romney said.

He pointed to the “chronic unemployment” of Spain and the “low wage growth” of Greece, referring to two nations whose fiscal crises are in the spotlight as leaders of the G20 major economies prepare to gather in Mexico next week.

“That’s where the policies of Europe lead,” he said of conditions in Spain and Greece.

“I don’t believe Europe works in Europe. I don’t want it here,” he added. “What I want here is to restore the principles that made us great.”

Romney made similar comments about Europe a day earlier when he kicked off his bus tour in New Hampshire.

Accompanying Romney there was US Senator Kelly Ayotte – seen as a possible Romney vice presidential pick – who warned a crowd that, with Obama’s policies, “unfortunately we’re on the road to Greece”.

A collapse of the euro currency, or financial spillover that could spook US markets, could move closer after Greece’s election on Sunday and has the potential to further weaken the tepid US recovery before Obama seeks reelection.

Romney and other leading Republicans support US government austerity measures to help rein in runaway debt and balance the budget, policies similar to those pushed by Chancellor Angela Merkel of Europe’s biggest economy Germany, and that have triggered massive debate and protest in Europe. – SAPA