The Candidates and The World

Transition 2012

A guide to foreign policy and the 2012 U.S. presidential transition.

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Economy Update: Eurocrisis Vexing the Obama Campaign

by Newsteam Staff
June 19, 2012

U.S. President Barack Obama, Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, June 18, 2012. (Jason Reed/Courtesy Reuters)


The eurozone crisis continues to send ripples through the 2012 campaign with President Barack Obama under pressure to find ways to mitigate Europe’s impact on the struggling U.S. economy.

“Most Europe watchers expect the continent’s woes to continue for months, beyond Election Day in November,” writes The Hill’s Peter Schroeder and Amie Parnes. “With no end in sight as the campaign ramps up, observers say the president must be frustrated.”

Ahead of the G20 meeting, Obama senior adviser David Plouffe Sunday (ABC) responded to an op-ed in a German newspaper last week written by an adviser to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney that criticizes policy toward the European financial crisis. Plouffe defended the president’s position saying “this is the Europeans’ responsibility to solve this” but noted that there “can be some lessons learned for how we dealt with our crisis.”

Romney himself said on Face the Nation Sunday (CBS) that he wished Obama would have taken action “to rebuild the basis of our economy” and “get it on such a strong footing that the challenges in Europe, if they occur, wouldn’t have a significant impact as they might otherwise.” He also said the United States should not help EU banks.

At the New York Times, Peter Baker notes that world events are adding an extra layer of complication to President Obama’s re-election efforts. “Although American voters are not particularly focused on foreign policy in a time of economic trouble, the rest of the world has a way of occupying a president’s time and intruding on his best-laid campaign plans,” Baker writes. “Whether from ripples of the European fiscal crisis or flare-ups of violence in Baghdad, it is easy to be whipsawed by events.”

For more on the candidates’ stances, check this issue tracker on The Candidates and the Economy.

Suggested Other Reading:

This CFR Expert Roundup says the eurozone crisis is expected to dominate the upcoming G20 leaders’ summit, as the organization works to stay relevant and move forward on a full agenda.

At the Huffington Post,the State Department’s Thomas R. Nides looks at ten ways foreign policy is tied to U.S. economic recovery. “In today’s interconnected world, foreign policy challenges are inseparable from economic ones. A strong economy is the foundation of America’s strength in the world, and our diplomacy can and must be a force for our economic renewal.”

Contributing Editor Gayle S. Putrich and Senior Editor Toni Johnson


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