Romney's 'out of touch,' Perry says
December 11th, 2011
03:02 PM ET
6 years ago

Romney's 'out of touch,' Perry says

(CNN) – Rick Perry capitalized Sunday on fellow Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney's large bet offer the night before.

The Texas governor said Romney’s proposed $10,000 wager during Saturday's debate is a sign the former Massachusetts governor is "a little out of touch with normal Iowa citizens."

"I was taken a little aback," Perry said on "Fox News Sunday." "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."

Romney challenged Perry to the bet over Perry’s claim that he removed a section from his book, “No Apologies,” which voiced support for a national health care mandate.

"10,000 bucks? $10,000 bet?" Romney said to Perry, extending his hand.

"I'm not in the betting business," Perry responded.

Perry held firm Sunday, saying, "The issue of individual mandates is still at the center here and Mitt can deny this as many times as he wants."

"Even a 10,000 bet is not going to cover that," Perry added.

Romney has repeatedly defended the health care plan passed in Massachusetts as a state experiment, not necessarily meant for the entire country. The individual mandate in the current health care law is at the heart of Republican criticism of the measure.

"The right course for America - and I've said this during the debates last time around; I'll say it now and time again - is to let individual states - this is a remarkable nation," Romney said Saturday. "This idea of federalism is so extraordinary. Let states craft their own solutions. Don't have ‘ObamaCare’ put on us by the federal government."

The bet became a popular topic on Twitter after the event and Democrats quickly attacked Romney as out-of-touch with struggling Americans, a consistent point of criticism toward the top-tier candidate and former business executive.

Rival candidate Jon Huntsman, who did not participate in Saturday's debate, created a website,, that seeks to explain why "Mitt Romney Owes Rick Perry $10,000," complete with articles, video and tweets.

But Romney strategist Eric Fehrnstrom equated Romney’s proposal to a typical bet with friends intended to combat a “false attack.”

“Usually the sum of your bet depends on how strongly you feel about the rightness of your position,” Fehrnstrom told reporters after the debate. “So when Mitt Romney made that bet, he did so knowing that Rick Perry wouldn’t take it, and by backing down Rick Perry looks weak.”

- CNN's Political Producers Rachel Streitfeld and Shawna Shepherd contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Rick Perry
soundoff (229 Responses)
  1. T'sah from Virginia

    Perry – You are NO BETTER than Romney!!!

    Perry ONLY turned down the bet because he doesn't BET; he mentioned NOTHING about the "amount" of the bet!!! Why didn't Perry think fast enough and tell Romney to his face that there is NOT an American "struggling" family out there that would even "consider" a $10,000 bet – $10,000 will allow me to pay off a lot of my debts and “maybe” redecorate ONE (small) room in my home!!!

    Everyone on the stage during the debate was "elitist." What made it worse – they are "far-RIGHT Elitist" that only care about themselves!!!

    Obama 2012 because "ObamaCares" about the middle class!!!

    December 11, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    The remark was a figure of speech, and I will give Perry credit for knowing that. But I discredit him for playing politics with the remark. The remark also says a lot about the culture and social life of the people who use such terms. 99% of us would say, "I'll bet you five bucks that ....."

    December 11, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  3. Woman In California

    This moment was by far the highlight of the night. People are starving, losing their jobs and homes and this "little" comment about something he said in a book meant so much he was willing to wager $10,000? Willard is so used to buying what he wants when he wants it – even this debate seemed to have a price tag on it.

    While I do not want a president who lives in poverty, flips burgers for a living or does not pay taxes – Willard thinks he is above anyone who does not make at least a million dollars and he simply did not/does not realize how offensive that statement was. I also loved the part where he mentioned being bought up in wealth. How many of us have been everything upon birth? Even most millionaires (at some point in their lives) worked their way up the success ladder unlike Willard who will never really know what getting a job and keeping a job is all about. Anytime he wants to quit anything in life he simply does. Can YOU say the same? I hope many Americans REALLY saw Willard for the self serving jerk he really is and it is about time he was put out of his comfort zone just like everyone else has. Good riddance Willard!

    December 11, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  4. RINO Bil

    Both Mitt Romney and Rick Perry are so far out of touch with the reality I know, they might as well be from another planet. Michele Bachman, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum not very far behind.

    The only two GOPer candidates with even an inkling of what's real and important to most voters are Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich.

    December 11, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  5. Woman In California

    Why is Huntsman jumping into this? He chose not to attend the debate and he shares the same faith, same monetary status and same beliefs as Romney. What a hypocrite.

    December 11, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  6. Woman In California

    Watch the stiff play this off as I WAS JUST JOKING. Anytime he gets himself in a corner – he does this. We saw you Mitt and the joke is YOU.

    December 11, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  7. Keith in Austin

    Yea, not a smart move on Romney's part.

    December 11, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  8. Marcel

    There he goes again!

    To clearly prove how out-of-touch he is with everyday American, Perry went as far as 'gambling' $10, 000. on a public debate stage. Most people don't believe in gambling and particularly, conservatives in Iowa. This begs the question. 'Is Romney a big time gambler? How many trips had he made to the casino to gamble $10.000 bucks are more to amass his enormous wealth? Has he been getting super rich at the expense of the poor man who regularly visits casinos?

    Another flip-flop by the renown Mitt the flip-flopper. How far does he have to go to prove himself? We already know him pretty well. There he goes again!

    December 11, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  9. Lost inTexas FOREVER and EVER

    Perry is correct to a certain extent that Romney is out of touch being part of the so-called 1% but Newt is not much better being in the same group. Newt is the one who almost bragged about being paid 60 grand for a 45 minute speech when the average American can't even make hardly 50 grand a year. Then Perry is spending money like a drunken sailor himself and has not much choice left than to try to attack those ahead of him in the polls.

    December 11, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  10. johnborg

    Mitt Romney is out of touch with everyone but CEOs. I can't believe I just agreed with Rick Perry...

    December 11, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  11. JayDeeT

    Romney is very much out of touch, regardless of who says so! He's out of touch with just about EVERYTHING in national and international affairs. However, his GOP debate rivals are just plain ignorant of national and international affairs. So, which would be better for the Presidency - out of touch or ignorant?? well, neither, so it would be best to reelect Obama!!

    December 11, 2011 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  12. Obayashi

    Both are out-of-touch. They should pack their bags and go home.

    December 11, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  13. Turned

    None of the clowns on stage batted an eye when Romney waged his 10,000 dollar bet. All of them live in a rich bubble of security, jet stting and lavish lifestyles. Welcome to the party for the rich by the rich and let the rest of us eat their crumbs.

    December 11, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. GI Joe

    Romney is out of touch with average Americans.

    Perry is out of touch with reality.

    December 11, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. Mike

    Most people would bet ten bucks, Romney bets ten G’s, I guess it could be worse, at least he didn’t bet ten wives.

    December 11, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  16. Kevin

    How is a someone who believes in magic bullet proof underwear more out of touch than a man who believes that an invisible man told him to run for president of the United States? I don't know about you but that seems about even to me.

    December 11, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  17. WW

    I am an independent. Our community in Oregon had a get together for 25 independents and we watched the debate Saturday night together. After the debate, we agreed that we are undecided but two GOP candidates we have crossed off our list are Gingrich and Perry. Gingrich and Perry came across as being arrogant and not real – and we did not like the post-debate spin by their supporters. They are both career politicians who have a long history of lying and deceiving the voters, a hundred times worst than Romney. And Romney is right about leaving health care to states... and if the voters in Massachusetts disliked the health plan there, they can vote it out. It is something GOP voters don't like to hear. If either Perry or Gingrich get the GOP nomination, we will most likely vote for Obama.

    December 11, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  18. WW

    Perry and Gingrich are out of touch with voters in main stream USA. Way out of touch. They both remind me of the blind following the bind & arrogant.

    December 11, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  19. gary

    Romney was born into wealth and will let you know it. Never had to work a day in his life. Perry is no different. He was born into no wealth, spent the minimum time flying cargo planes in the air force and returned to Texas with little or no wealth. Since leaving the service, Perry has spent his entire life in political offices. It is amazing, since political offices pay very little salary, he has become a multi-millionaire. Just another get rich crook while in public office. None of these seven canidates, who are left, have any common threads with the working families of this country.

    December 11, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  20. Indy

    Corporations are people too ! Looks like unemployment is not as tough on Mitt as he said it was. Typical rich kid beaking off to his freinds,and some wonder why Mitt will never get over the hump with support.New has neutered Ronmey and Perry, and Ron Paul and Huntsman make the most sense. These debates must make Obama feel great as he is once again the clear winner and the more debates Republicans have the more support will sway towards the sane on in the Whitehouse.

    December 11, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  21. RINO Bil

    Let's review how in touch Rick Perry is:

    Doesn't know how many justices are on the U.S. Supreme Court.
    Can't name the Supreme Court justice(s) with whom he disagrees.
    Doesn't know the minimum voting age in the U.S.
    Can't name the date of the next U.S. presidential election.
    Can't name the various Cabinet Departments he, as president, would eliminate.

    ... and those are only his most recent brain-farts.

    December 11, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  22. Ted

    really? this is the focus? whilst obviously tongue in cheek, i think i want someone in office that is smart and successful enough to afford a 10k bet. Not to mention who on that stage or even Obama, for that matter, can't afford it??

    December 11, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  23. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Congratulations President Obama and Vice President Biden on your re-election in 2012 – in advance!!!!

    December 11, 2011 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  24. Logic in LA

    Thank you media for making something out of nothing. We have all said "I'll bet you a million bucks" over something. This sort of thing is a comeback line to prove a point and nothing more.Perry's handlers picked up on the media making of it and now thinks they can get some mileage from it.
    to anyone in Iowa that took it as anything more- grow up!

    December 11, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  25. greg

    News flash all of these candidates are out of touch with reality!! OBAMA 2012!!

    December 11, 2011 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
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