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. GOP just don't get it.

    Unfortunately the entire GOP has lost complete connectivity with America. I suspect it will take the party of the "exclusive" about a decade to recuperate from this one. Or it will take a good republican POTUS to earn some respect from the masses. One thing that I just don't understand is why there are still good citizens in this country who go to bed every night believing this crap. Although is their individual choices to stay ignorant, I fell sorry for them and hope that someday they open their eyes and inform themsleves with facts, not FOX.

    Please republicans! You must understand that not agreeing with your non-sense anti-middle class is not being anti-American. It means that we are much well informed and simply will not accept these candidates lip service useless discussions. I can get a better discussion from a goldfish than even listening to any of these idiots.

    I really hope these people read some of these posts so just maybe they get a real look at what the real America thinks.

    December 11, 2011 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  2. He deserves it

    Remember two weeks ago when Romney edited a tape of Obama to make it say that he didn't want to talk about the economy? Karma's a (you know what.)

    December 11, 2011 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  3. Penguin

    $10,000 – that's just another haircut for Mittie.

    December 11, 2011 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |

    They're both clueless!!! Obama 2012

    December 11, 2011 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  5. George H

    Rick Perry was lying and Romney called him on it. Rick would not take the bet because he was lying and they both knew it.

    This is a transparent attempt for Rick to cover up his lies.That is what the bet was about. Nothing more.

    December 11, 2011 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  6. K3Citizen

    This coming from a guy who can't be bought for less than $5,000.

    December 11, 2011 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  7. BeverlyNC

    Romney out of touch?? You just figuring that out? Most of the nation has known this rich, never gotten his hands dirty, job killer, liar about loving healthcare law has been clueless most of his priviledged life. There is not one Republican running who know what it means to work to pay for a mortgage, food, bills, or gas or education. They are bloated rich people who stomp on others to get where they are. They have no idea how real people live nor do they care. We the People need to join together and clean HOUSE of ALL Republican obstructionists and get the Democrats back to 60 in the Senate so Republicans cannot block every piece of legislation that helps create jobs and restore our economy or help people who have no jobs or have no food or lost their home due to Republican buddy banks. Republicans are the Party of Hate, Lies, Racism, and Hypocrisy – and not one solution between them except to protect millionaires. They want to set up a king/slaves society.

    December 11, 2011 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  8. Mark

    Mitt Romney needs to go back to Massachusetts with all the other Mormons! Ron Paul 2012!

    December 11, 2011 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  9. Vin Dicated

    What's $10k to a man that is worth $200 million? I wouldn't vote for a guy that can't relate to the working class. I also wouldn't vote for someone that thinks there are eight Supreme Court justices like PArry does. What does he think they do in a tie ruling? Flip a $10k coin?

    December 11, 2011 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  10. usualone

    Both are out of touch with the majority of the American public. They are too extreme or too phoney.

    December 11, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  11. Paul Williamson

    I am an independent, and in the last 45 years have sometimes voted for Republican Presidential candidates, sometimes Democratic candidates, and once in a while an Independent (Anderson but not Perot). I try to pick the best man (or woman-I was for Hillary in the primaries) for the job, with character, competence, not too right or too left, who can compromise to make this country great. This year, every one of the republican presidential candidates is so bad, and the Republicans in the House and the Senate have been such obstructionists, anti-middle class and anti- poor,and just plain hard-headed jerks and idealogues, that for the first time ever, I am contributing my a lot of hard-earned money to campaigns for Democrats in the House and the Senate, and for the Obama presidency, because I firmly believe this is the only way we can save our great country from these misguided right wing nuts.

    December 11, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  12. Bob Baschoff

    Both of these guys are nothing more than shirt collar ads. They are clueless and would both present a danger to our country in the unlikely event they are elected.

    And before the trolls start replying, I am not a a dem, a rep, a con, a lib or, god forbid, a tea partier. I vote for the best man, or in most cases, the lesser of two evils. I only watch the republican debates for entertainment until the John Dailey and Stephen Colbert come

    December 11, 2011 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  13. heliocracy

    "Let states craft their own solutions." Where was Romney when the House was passing a law to force all states to allow concealed weapons? When they don't agree with the policy, then the states should decide, but when they agree, federal power is just fine. That's our GOP!

    December 11, 2011 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  14. Bob

    Perry can't think fast enough in a debate and then he forgets. That would mean if he was the nominee Obama would sweep him under the carpet in a debate and win in a landslide..

    December 11, 2011 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  15. JT

    I think the media might be blowing this out of porportion, but I'm also a moderate conservative independent, so I might be biased. It looks like the tea party's agenda of getting Obama re-elected is working.

    December 11, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  16. Independent_me

    A $10,000 bet...
    What's the big deal... poor people make such bets every day...

    December 11, 2011 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  17. DanW

    Sorry Mitt, when I bet someone a million dollars they know I don't have it. When you bet Perry $10K everyone knows that's just chump change to you.

    December 11, 2011 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  18. Mass Romney Supporter

    The thing that people have to understand is that even though Romney may seem out of touch with the average American, he still is the only candidate that actually has a chance of beating Obama. Republicans should stop trying to support the most conservative candidate when they need to support a candidate that can win a general election.

    December 11, 2011 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  19. T'sah from Virginia

    Some may say it was a "figure of speech." But where I come from, we always said, "I'll bet cha' a dollar or go up on the roof and holler!" And we still say that today... Now that's a "figure of speech!!!!!"

    Obama 2012

    December 11, 2011 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  20. JasonP

    Nice command of the English language there Perry.

    December 11, 2011 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  21. steven harnack

    Every single one of them is out of touch with the average American and it's glaringly obvious every time that they flap their gums to say "What Americans want is...........which just happens to be what I'm selling today."

    December 11, 2011 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  22. Fed Up With Republicans

    I bet my friends what either of us can afford to lose and the bet is just for the sake of the bet not to win.

    December 11, 2011 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  23. mack

    There was the fact that Mitt was betting on a sure thing. How many of us would bet the house on a bet we knew would win. I sure that Perry is not in the betting business when it a bet he knows he not going to win.

    December 11, 2011 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  24. Sorensen

    This whole thing is totally ridiculous. They are both completely irrelevant and uninteresting.
    Perry does not know anything about anything except texas "humor". Romney is a perfectly decent man, and totally
    without any personality, opinion and class. He is a management consultant for gods sake. What do you expect?

    December 11, 2011 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  25. Shelby

    perry is out in space. He can't remember all three executives branches he'd get rid of ; nor does he know what the voting age is in our country! And oospie perry attacks Romney by distorting comments written in Romney's book. perry is a lame, lame space cadet.

    December 11, 2011 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
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