Romney Electioneering Abroad at Odds with Trending Approach in Europe
Nicholas Iaquinto was previously the Communications Coordinator / Web Developer at AICGS.
Determining the economic policy approach of the United States for the next four years, Americans have the opportunity in November to remain with President Barack Obama or switch to Republican presidential nominee-to-be Mitt Romney. But what would a Romney presidency mean for the transatlantic partnership? Over the weekend, Glenn Hubbard sent a very clear answer to this question. Writing an op-ed in Handelsblatt, a leading German business newspaper, the senior economic advisor to the Romney campaign blasted both the Obama administration’s record and stimulus-based approach to solving the financial crisis. Supporting austerity measures instead, Hubbard’s article has more than one level of meaning. Although this type of writing can be expected from the Romney camp, this article demonstrates the lengths the Republican candidate is willing to go.
Traditionally off-bounds for U.S. campaigns, this type of electioneering abroad sends an early message about a potential Romney adminisration’s lack of intent to compromise. This style may prove to strain the transatlantic partnership as more and more Europeans shift to a pro-stimulus position. Beyond France’s recent election of anti-austerity François Hollande to their country’s presidency, the Social Democratic Party (SPD) has also been the beneficiary of modest gains in Germany’s state elections in May. Furthermore, SPD leaders are scheduled to meet with Hollande Wednesday, June 13. This is on the heels of Chancellor Merkel’s announcement that she will campaign for the European financial transaction tax, a move to assuage uneasiness on the center-left.
In this sense, Romney’s message promoting spending cuts and tax reform over tax increase-backed stimulus comes at a bad time for the U.S. connection with Europe. How will Romney address this increasing gap in approach? Additionally, does this mean that Europe is fair game as an election battleground? These questions will remain crucial for the immediate future of the transatlantic connection and the answers will have lasting implications for this partnership in 2013 and beyond.
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