"This is nothing new. This was the Republican line back when Kerry was running — and it's continuing," said Moisi, referring to the 2004 presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry. "The 'Europeanization of America' has been a slogan for a while."
Moisi said such political bluster would have little impact on Romney's policies if he is eventually elected president.
"Once he is president of the United States, he has to rule, so to speak, with Europe, and America can't afford to lose Europe as China rises. It's a campaign trick — very illustrative of the campaign mind of the Republicans," he said.
In Nordic countries that have maintained a system of high taxes and extensive welfare benefits without sacrificing economic competitiveness, Romney's views were seen by some as ill-informed.
Professor Stein Kuhnle of the University of Bergen, Norway, who researches the welfare state, laughed when he heard Romney's comments.
"It's amazing that this kind of rhetoric works," he said. "But I think it plays on ignorance to some extent. Most American voters don't know very much about Europe."
"Maybe we should hold a class for American politicians," he said.
Jamey Keaten in Paris, Raf Casert in Brussels, and Karl A. Ritter in Stockholm contributed to this report.
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