A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mitt Romney facing both ways on Italian debt crisis

Cain and Abel? Herman may be Cain, but Mitt isn't totally able!
The GOP debates are a real spectacle this time round. Two from last time, Ron Paul (my choice) and Mitt Romney, have so far not done anything to cause them to fall from political grace. Two others, Rick Perry and Herman Cain, are wobbling along like a three-wheeled  wagon. Both are a joy to journalists and a real worry to Republican mandarins. Then the other four, Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich flit from flaky remarks to pithy comments.

Now it's said that Mitt Romney is still the favourite to win the nomination. One has to wonder what his credibility is based on. He may be rich and famous, but has he got all his marbles in place? He tends towards gobbledegook rather than reasoned argument. Now Ron Paul has loads of reasoned argument and is very low on gobbledegook.

Here's what Mitt Romney said at the CNBC Debate, with Maria Bartiromo, about the Italian/EU debt crisis -

ROMNEY: Well, Europe is able to take care of their own problems. We don't want to step in and try and bail out their banks and bail out their governments. They have the capacity to deal with that themselves. They're a very large economy. And there will be, I'm sure, cries if Italy does default, if Italy does get in trouble. And we don't know that'll happen, but if they get to a point where they're in crisis and banks throughout Europe that hold a lot of Italy debt will -- will then face crisis and there will have to be some kind of effort to try and uphold their financial system. There will be some who say here that banks in the U.S. that have Italian debt, that we ought to help those, as well. My view is no, no, no. We do not need to step in to bail out banks either in Europe or banks here in the U.S. that may have Italian debt. The right answer is for us...

BARTIROMO: But -- but the U.S. does contribute to the International Monetary Fund, and the IMF has given $150 billion to the eurozone. Are you saying the U.S. should stop contributing to the IMF?

ROMNEY: I'm happy to continue to participate in world efforts like the World Bank and the IMF, but I'm not happy to have the United States government put in place a TARP-like program to try and save U.S. banks that have Italian debt, foreign banks doing business in the U.S. that have Italian debt, or European debt. We're just -- banks there. There's going to be an effort to try and draw us in and talk about how we need to help -- help Italy and help Europe. Europe is able to help Europe. We have to focus on getting our own economy in order and making sure we never reach the kind of problem Italy is having. If we stay on the course we're on, with the level of borrowing this administration is carrying out, if we don't get serious about cutting and capping our spending and balancing our -- our budget, you're going to find America in the same position Italy is in four or five years from now, and that is unacceptable. We've got to fix our -- our deficit.

So best will in the world, I don't get what he is really saying. On one hand he says "Don't bail out banks, leave them to go bust" and on the other he says "There will have to be some kind of effort to try and uphold their financial system", which of course means money going in. So it's either no money or lots of money. He doesn't want direct intervention (TARP-like program) but he does want indirect intervention through the IMF and World Bank ("happy to").

Shouldn't Americans be asking more questions about Mr Flip-Flop Romney?

Read more: http://thepage.time.com/2011/11/10/cnbc-transcript-of-your-money-your-vote-republican-presidential-debate/#ixzz1dK6c7ah7


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