By Justin Sink - 12/20/11 01:12 PM EST
Mitt Romney said that the United States would experience a financial crisis similar to that of Greece or Italy if President Obama were elected to a second term, and hit rival Newt Gingrich's plan for the federal judiciary as unconstitutional during an interview Monday night with Fox News's Bill O'Reilly.
"I think we hit a Greece-like wall. I think before the end of his second term, if he were reelected, there's a very high risk that we would hit a financial crisis that Greece or Italy have faced," Romney said.
"I think it's also very possible that we would continue to see very high levels of unemployment. I think you would see industry in this country, entrepreneurs, big and small, decide to go elsewhere, to take their investment dollars to other nations. This president has put together the most anti-investment, anti-growth and anti-job series of policies that I've seen since Jimmy Carter," he added.
"His comments about the justices and Congress and sending the Capitol Police to bring in judges — that's not exactly a practical idea or constitutional idea," Romney said. "Let me tell you, there are a lot of decisions by judges that I vehemently disagree with, but I also agree with the Constitution. The solution to judges out of control is not to tear up the Constitution and say that the Congress of the United States now becomes the ultimate power in this country."
O'Reilly pressed Romney on his conservative credentials, noting that "a lot of conservatives don't trust you" and that "they think you're a phony." But Romney, while admitting his position on abortion rights had evolved, insisted he was a genuine conservative.
“I am conservative. I’ve become more conservative over time," Romney said.
But Romney sidestepped a question about whether President Obama was a "socialist."
“You know, I prefer to use the term that he’s just over his head,” Romney said. “I consider him a big-government liberal Democrat. I think, as you look at his policies, you conclude that he thinks Europe got it right and we got it wrong. I think Europe got it wrong. I think Europe is not working in Europe, and I’ll battle him on that day in and day out. But I’m probably not going to be calling him names so much as calling him a failure.”