(NBC NEWS) CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s deputy prime minister said Friday that the greatest threat to the U.S. economy are “cranks and crazies” in the Republican Party.

Wayne Swan, who also serves as treasurer and is his center-left Labor Party government’s ranking finance minister, took aim at the Tea Party during a speech to a business forum on Friday, breaking a convention among Australia’s major parties to steer clear of U.S. domestic political debates.

Swan, one of few world leaders able to boast his country had avoided recession during the global financial crisis, also labelled the Tea Party wing of the Republicans as “extreme.”

  • Text smaller
  • Text bigger
Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.