US President Barack Obama suggested Thursday that Europe was still struggling with its financial crisis because it did not follow the US path of trying to stimulate its economy.
Obama admitted at a fundraising event in Seattle that the US economy, beset by slow growth and high unemployment, faced headwinds, but portrayed it as in a much better state than Europe, where some nations are slipping into recession.
"Europe is still in a difficult state partly because they didn't take some of the decisive steps that we took early on in this recession," Obama said.
The president spoke just a few days after one of his allies on the world stage, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, got voted out of office, partly due to the impact of the deepest recession since the 1930s.
The victory of French president-elect Francois Hollande was seen by many analysts as a sign European voters were tiring of the austerity policies adopted on the continent in a bid to overcome the debt crisis threatening the euro.
Obama will try to avoid a similar fate to Sarkozy when he asks US voters for a second term in office in November, but his campaign is being hindered by unemployment of 8.1 percent and the fact many Americans are yet to feel the economic recovery.
Soon after taking office, Obama thrust through Congress an $800 billion stimulus plan, which Republicans say was a waste of money but Democrats say saved over four million jobs and stopped the economy slipping into a repeat of the Great Depression.