The anti-incumbent election returns in France and Greece pose a threat to the U.S. economic recovery and, in turn, to President Barack Obama’s re-election. Obama is staking much of his campaign on a fragile economic recovery that could falter should Europe stumble, The Washington Post reported.

“Our economy continues to face some headwinds, and the euro-zone crisis is one of them,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

The debate in Europe is similar to that in the United States, where the struggle is between those advocating cuts in government spending and those pushing spending to promote growth and to maintain public services. In France and Greece, those advocating austerity lost.