WASHINGTON — The United States will not bail out European countries if the eurozone economy falls apart under a spiraling debt crisis, Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney said Sunday.
"We're not going to send checks to Europe. We're not going to bail out the European banks. We're going to be poised here to support our economy," Romney told CBS television's "Face the Nation" program.
He expressed hope that "regardless of what happens in Europe, that our banking sector is able to weather the storm," noting that US banks are on a "much stronger basis" than during the last crisis.
Romney, who is seeking to oust Obama from the White House in a November elections, has accused the president of trying to create a "European-style entitlement society" in the United States.
"I wish that over the last three and a half years that the president would have taken action to rebuild the basis of our economy... get it on such a strong footing that the challenges in Europe if they occur wouldn't have as significant impact as they might otherwise," he said.
"But right now, we're dealing with 23 million people out of work or stopped looking for work or underemployed, homes are still bumping along the bottom, foreclosures are (at) very high levels, median incomes are way down; the president's frankly made it harder for our economy to reboot."
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.