By Ben Geman - 06/17/12 04:18 PM EDT
Mitt Romney said Sunday that the U.S. should not try and ride to the rescue as Europe confronts its perilous debt crisis.
“We are not going to send checks to Europe. We are not going to bail out the European banks,” Romney said in an interview broadcast on the CBS program “Face the Nation.”
Romney, who is President Obama's GOP challenger in this fall's election, said the U.S. role should be to provide counsel to European nations, not capital.
“I certainly don’t believe that we should expose our national balance sheet to the vagaries of what is going to be happening in Europe. Europe is capable of dealing with their banking crisis if they choose to do so,” Romney said.
Obama has said the European financial crisis is among the factors creating “headwinds” for the U.S. economy. The White House fears a worsening of Europe’s debt crisis could hamper the recovering American economy.
Senior Obama adviser David Plouffe on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday noted that Europe is a major destination for U.S. exporters and goods. “This is affecting our economy. This is affecting the global economy,” he said.
But Plouffe said Obama agrees that it’s Europe’s problem to solve.
“The president said very clearly . . . this is the Europeans' responsibility to solve this, and it's within their power to do so. I think there can be some lessons learned for how we dealt with our crisis. And, again, tough steps, none of them easy,” he said.
Romney used the discussion of Europe’s woes to also bash Obama’s economic record.
“I wish that over the last three-and-half-years that the president would have taken action to rebuild the basis of our economy, its foundation, get it on such a strong footing that the challenges in Europe as they occur wouldn’t have as significant an impact as they might otherwise,” Romney said.