Romney Bet – Mitt Romney asked Rick Perry to bet him $10,000 over his position on health care, and that didn’t sit too well with most Americans who are struggling in a recession, having no money to pay bills or to wager.
If anything struck home from the Des Moines Republican presidential debate, hosted Saturday night on ABC, it was the carelessness of a rich man who seems out of touch with real Americans, based on what he says.
“You can already feel the $10k bet backfiring — will be one of the replayed moments from the debate,” Rich Lowry, the editor of the conservative National Review wrote on Twitter.
And Rick Perry addressed the issue on “Fox News Sunday,” saying he was surprised by Mr. Romney’s offer.
“I was a little taken aback,” he said. “I’m driving out to the station this morning. I’m sure I didn’t drive by a house that anyone in Iowa would even think about that a $10,000 bet was possible. So, a little out of touch with the normal Iowa citizen.”
Romney has said repeatedly that he believes states, not the federal government, should choose whether a mandate is good for them, and he has vowed to repeal the Democrats’ health care plan should he win the presidency.
Aides to Mr. Romney quickly sought to downplay the debate moment. They said the exchange had served to strengthen their candidate’s claim that Mr. Perry was incorrect.
Mr Perry had claimed, as he has before, that in early drafts of a book, Mr. Romney had proposed that the Massachusetts health-care program should be a model for a national plan. Several news organizations, including PolitiFact.com, a nonpartisan fact-checking group, have called this claim inaccurate.
“I’ve made million dollar bets with my friends, and I think the reason that Mitt made that wager is because he knew that Rick Perry wouldn’t take it,” said Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior advisor to the Romney campaign. “And he was right.”
Asked why Romney would risk drawing attention to his wealth, Fehrnstrom pointed to his charitable giving: “I don’t think he has to dance carefully around the issue. I think he has been very generous with his money. He gives back appropriately.”
Here’s the video showing Romney offering the wager to Perry.