On the stump, the Republican candidate says what America needs is tax reform, spending cuts and fewer bureaucratic regulations. When talking to a European reporter he says one thing it doesn't need to do is bail out the struggling euro zone.
"Europe must save itself. The United States will not give a single cent to help it solve its crisis." It is 8 a.m., but Mitt Romney already has his game-face on, entering the main fair room from a side door. He wears a pair of jeans, a blue wool jacket and plaid shirt that would fit perfectly on the back of any farmer from Iowa or mill worker from New Hampshire.
He keeps a hand around his wife Ann's waist. Behind them are three of their five children, who follow him diligently along the campaign trail in the hours before his narrow win in Tuesday's Iowa caucus.
"This president doesn't have any clue on how to restart the economy. He thinks the role of the government is to take from the rich and give to the poor," says Romney. "This is called redistribution. An egalitarian fairytale. But we are different, we became a superpower because of merit. Whoever works well is going to earn well, and by investing the profit he will also provide for others."
Once he has finished his stump speech, Romney comes down off the stage and starts to shake hands. The early-morning crowd is still small enough to allow for autographs of kids' t-shirts and baseballs. That is when we approach him.
So the United States shouldn't help Europe overcome its debt crisis?
No, not a single cent. Europe got into this trouble on its own, and has to get out of it on its own. Germany, France, Italy. They all have the resources to pay their debts. They can solve the crisis, invest and start to grow again, possibly through (creating) a real market economy. The United States has to take care of its own crisis, and will not give a single dollar for saving Europe.
But isn't there also a risk in doing it this way? It may help you beat Obama, but wouldn't it cause a new recession or a complete collapse of the Old Continent?
Of course it is also our interest to avoid the total economic crash of Europe, but it is not up to us to avoid it. The Europeans must solve their crisis, by their own means. They have to do it for their own continent, for the United States and for the whole world because their collapse would have an enormous effect on the global economy.
How will you relaunch the American economy if you are elected?
Obama created the biggest debt in the history of the United States, along with one of the most serious employment crises ever. Certainly we need to reduce our debt and reach a budgetary equilibrium by analyzing every federal program and cutting off the ones that don't deserve public funding.
I also have a recovery plan based on four points: first, reforming the tax system for stimulating the revival of manufacturing in the United States; second, eliminating all bureaucratic regulations that suffocate businesses; third, investing in energy, because we have so many untapped oil, gas and coal resources; fourth, reopen export to international markets with the help of more free trade agreements. And if someone isn't on board or breaks the rules, like China, I will make my voice be heard".
Read the original article in Italian
Photo - Gage Skidmore