By Amie Parnes - 06/20/12 12:52 AM EDT
President Obama said Tuesday that the economic crisis in Europe could “have some impact” on his reelection chances in November.
“I think it’s fair to say that all these issues, economic issues, will potentially have some impact on the election,” Obama told reporters at a press conference in Los Cabos, Mexico wrapping up the G20 summit. “But that’s not my biggest concern right now.”
During the press conference, Obama once again called on Congress to act on a jobs plan that would “put us on the path to creating an extra million jobs”
“I’ve consistently believed that if we take the right policy steps, if we’re doing the right thing, then the politics will follow and my mind hasn’t changed on that,” he said.
Coming off the two-day conference, Obama said the European leaders “understand the stakes and understand they must take bold and decisive action.
“What I’ve encouraged them to do is to lay out a framework of where they want to go in solving their financial problems,” he said.
Although Obama acknowledged that Europe could not solve its difficulties “in one fell swoop,” if they made positive steps in addressing their financial crisis and “people have a sense of where they’re going, that can provide confidence and break the fever.”
During the brief press conference, Obama touted how his administration has helped improve troubled spots back home, pointing to the Dodd-Frank legislation.
“Our supervision and our mechanisms for looking at trouble spots in our financial system...are superior to the way they were in 2008,” he said.
Obama also swiped at the Romney campaign during the press conference, taking issue with an op-ed written last month by Romney economic adviser R. Glenn Hubbard in a German newspaper.
The president argued that Team Romney shouldn't take domestic politics overseas.
"I would point out that we have one president at a time and one administration at a time," Obama said. "And I think traditionally the notion has been that America's political differences end at the water's edge."
Speaking directly about what Hubbard wrote in the newspaper, Obama said, "I'd also suggest that he may not have been familiar with what our suggestions to the Germans have been.
"I think sometimes back home there is a desire to superimpose whatever ideological arguments are taking place back home on a very complicated situation in Europe," he added.
Obama said he didn't want to "sound Polyannish" about the situation in Europe. But he said that the European countries "recognize the need for growth strategies inside Europe that are consistent with fiscal consolidation plans."
"I think that's the right recipe generally," he said.
During the press conference,which came before Obama headed back to Washington, Obama also discussed the ongoing violence in Syria under president Assad, which he called "major topics of conversation" with Russian President Putin and Chinese President Hu.
"The violence is completely out of hand," he said. "Civilians are being targeted. And Assad has lost legitimacy. And when you massacre your own citizens, in the ways that we've seen, it is impossible to conceive of an orderly political transition that leaves Assad in power."
Obama said Putin and Hu "recognize the grave dangers of an all out civil war" and don't "condone the massacres we've witnessed."
"I think they believe that everybody would be better if Syria had a mechanism for ceasing the violence and for creating a legitimate government," he said.
Obama said it's important for the world community to work with United Nations about "what a political transition would look like.
"They recognize that the current situation is grave," he added. "If we can help the Syrian people find a path to resolution, all of us would be better off."