Romney's 'out of touch,' Perry says
December 11th, 2011
03:02 PM ET
7 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. Iowa

    Who Cares Mitt Romney is still the one to beat Obama.....Rick Perry has no chance and we all know that Rick Perry dislikes Mitt Romney!!!!! He will say anything to keep his ship a flot... But the fact is that mitt was just showing that Rick was lying with the bet........So I think everyone but Mitt and Newt needs to drop out and start supporting someone who is going to beat Obama......................... Quit Fighting with each other and keep your focus on the horriable President we have and the U.S. Debt

    December 11, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  2. Ken

    The whole lot of them vying for the Republican nomination are out of touch!

    December 11, 2011 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  3. Bushper

    Mr President the American Middle Class will reward you for your hardwork come 2012 election. We are with you.

    December 11, 2011 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  4. Pat in IL

    Fehrnstorm is right. The amount was said only to make a point. For the idiot from Texas today that the intelligent businessman is out of touch is really a stretch.

    December 11, 2011 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  5. it is sad

    "I didn't grow up poor... but my daddy did... and he made sure I understood that being poor was bad.... stay away from poor people, they will make you depressed. I bet you $10,000 that poor people will hate that I can actually bet that much and even lose, and I am still really really REALLY rich."

    December 11, 2011 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  6. Noodle Nose Johnson

    What?? You mean you people don't make casual $10,000 bets on a regular basis? What are you, poor?

    December 11, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  7. CoJo

    to me, it still comes down to who was in office when the finance melt down occured? Republicans. Who was in office when Enron, Tyco has accounting schemes that cost people their retirement and jobs... republicans. Whos were the watch dogs when AIG, Goldman Sac, Lehman, Citi, BAC, and a numerous hedge funds bet against the american tax people. Who bailed them out? Who votes for TARP? republicans cost american's retirement, homes, jobs, etc.

    They want to reduce taxes to feed the corps that sent jobs over seas. People are not listening to the CEOs, they are say the reason for jobs being sent is labor costs, not regulations or taxes. cut taxes ONLY help corps coffers, which paid big bonus to CEOs.. Think I'm wrong, go back and see what they made during the the 8 years bush was in office.

    December 11, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  8. Bushper

    What was Romney thinking, at a time when most American children go to bed at night hungry he was betting 10,000 US DOLLARS just to win a debate. Talk of being out of touch.

    December 11, 2011 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. Pimpson

    Major misstep by Romney. He looked desperate and out of control.

    December 11, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  10. Thomas

    None of these GOP children should be playing with matches !

    December 11, 2011 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  11. WW

    Perry, Gingrich, Paul, and Huntsman may have nice sounding promises & spin bites but will never deliver. Not as long as businesses and corporations are treated like people. IMO, businesses and corporations need to have rights curtailed; rights like the right to appeal court & jury decisions issued against the business.

    December 11, 2011 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  12. Manny

    The $10,000 bet was a joke and now a media/wacko event. Apparently there is nothing better to report. Tabloid entertainment.

    December 11, 2011 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  13. The Dude

    I thought Mormons didn't gamble? If he can't even follow the tenets of the religion he holds dear, how can you trust anything Romney says?

    December 11, 2011 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  14. Clwyd

    Rick, who is out of touch? You and your brain farts that's who!

    December 11, 2011 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  15. GunnerGA

    Only the media made this into more than it was. I din't think about Romney being out of touch when he said it. I thought about Perry being called out on a mis-statement of fact regarding Romney's book. WHile Romney may have had $10k to blow, the expression in one I use when I am rock sure of myself... and I certainly do not have 10k to blow. The talking heads chose to over analyze this rather than let it settle and see what viewers thought... like Bachman saying she was 55 and then saying that she had 50 years of business experience in the private sector. Now THAT was exactly what it sounded like... stupid.

    December 11, 2011 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  16. yu

    I bet u $5000,000.00

    December 11, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  17. Lizzy10

    There isn't a politician right now who isn't out of touch with the "common person". How about they stop pork barrel politics, voting themselves raises and health care benifits and all the gravy that goes with entitlements and start doing what they were elected to do, represent the "common person"?

    December 11, 2011 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  18. Maine Coon

    Romney may be "out of touch," but Perry is just plain "out of it."

    December 11, 2011 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  19. d1donald

    The $10,000 bet heard aound the political world. A very bad move by Mr. Mitt "The Switch" Romney. He just lost the Iowa election and the GOP nomination. Romney is a bet that america can't afford to take.

    December 11, 2011 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  20. Margaret

    U.S. politics are becoming a joke. They are so out of touch with ordinary people the only thing the seem to care about is how much money they can raise with outlandish statements and book signings. Just an observation from Canada.

    December 11, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  21. David

    Romney's past leadership of the Bain Corporation should be enough to tell Middle Class and poor Americans to NOT vote for him. He is filthy rich, and has made money off of leveraged buyouts of companies, selling them at a profit for his rich investors, and then riding away while the bought out companies lay off long term employees. Don't believe it? Do some research. By the way, this reality is why Romney is the perfect candidate for the Republican Party. If you make less than $250,000 per year, then you should not vote Republican.

    December 11, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  22. Ann

    So strange that this bet is the highlight of the debates...the media highlight.. Romney was NOT saying he would place a bet paid by week Obama heads off for a pricey two-week vacation in Hawaii...he pays for his house, the American taxpayer foots the bill for security, air travel, expensive hotel rooms for staff, limos etc..far exceeding that ten thousand dollar personal bet...people are out of is our President who is out of touch!!

    December 11, 2011 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  23. robert baca-bowers

    Let's all be honest here; Romney is not going to be the nominee because he is a member of a "cult"; Mormon. Catholics, Lutherans, Protestants, Baptists, etc., like to think that their cult is unlike the Mormon cult. There is a far greater chance that I will see Santa Claus on Xmas than I will see jesus/god/whoever/whatever.

    December 11, 2011 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  24. Randy Little

    Having been married to a Mormon Mitt just violated his own religion which denounces any type of gambling or betting.

    December 11, 2011 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  25. mw

    It was a HUGE blunder on Mi's part. It was no figure of speech; it was a statement coming from a man for whom 10 large is chickenfeed. My prediction: it's not over yet for Paul or Huntsman. Huntsman may materialize as the one and only sane, moral, everyman with leadership and conservative bona fides.

    December 11, 2011 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
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