Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney said Tuesday that Poland's economy is a model of small government and free enterprise that other nations should emulate as they struggle with recession, an unspoken criticism of President Barack Obama's policies in the wake of the worst recession in decades.
Wrapping up an overseas trip, the former Massachusetts governor said that "rather than heeding the false promise" of a government-dominated economy, Poland sought to stimulate innovation, attract investment, expand trade and live within its means" after the end of the Communist era. He made the observation in remarks as he neared the end of a week-long trip marred by his own stumbles on the world stage.
Before departing Europe to resume his campaign in the United States, Romney also laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier in Warsaw and was paying tribute to the hundreds of thousands of Poles who died in a World War II ghetto uprising against the Nazis, traditional stops for dignitaries visiting Poland.
His speech seemed an attempt to link his overseas trip to the campaign at home.
He said that in his talks on Monday, one unnamed Polish leader "shared with me an economic truth that has been lost on much of the world. 'It is simple. You don't borrow what you cannot pay back,' " said Romney, who frequently criticizes Obama at home for the growth of the U.S. debt over the past four years.
"The world should pay close attention to the transformation of Poland's economy," Romney said. "A march toward economic liberty and smaller government has meant a march toward higher living standards, a strong military that defends liberty at home and abroad, and an important and growing role on the international stage."
Romney did not mention Obama by name, but he frequently accuses the president, while campaigning in the United States, of failing to understand the importance of the private economy and favoring government solutions to the nation's problems. Romney resumes his campaign at home with appearances Thursday in Colorado.
© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.