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Republican hopefuls tackle questions of Europe

Newly appointed Greek Prime Minister Loukas Papademos in Athens on November 10, 2011.

Jeremy Hobson: The latest news on the European debt crisis came just moments ago from Athens, Greece, where former European Central Bank official Loukas Papademos will be the new prime minister of Greece.

Does that make a difference in terms of what the U.S. should do about Europe? Well, not according to the Republican Presidential Candidates. They shared their strategies for Europe last night at the latest GOP debate.

Marketplace's David Gura reports.


David Gura: Texas Governor Rick Perry said he had a message for world leaders: that nothing is more powerful than the free market.

Rick Perry: We are not going to pick winners and losers from Washington, DC; that we are going to trust the capital markets and the private sector to make the decisions.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney echoed what most candidates said: that there should be no U.S. bailouts for European banks.

Mitt Romney: Europe is able to help Europe.

Romney did say he supports what he called "world efforts" to stabilize Europe, through the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank -- organizations the U.S. helps bankroll. The Obama administration hasn't offered Europe much more than advice.

But MIT economist Simon Johnson says American leaders and candidates can't avoid dealing with what's going on across the Atlantic.

Simon Johnson: There's a definite possibility of contagion, particularly through the very large banks.

Johnson says that financial firms considered "too big to fail" pose a risk to the U.S. economy whether they're based here, or in Europe.

In Washington, I'm David Gura, for Marketplace.

About the author

David Gura is a reporter for Marketplace, based in the Washington, D.C. bureau.

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