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. petena

    Perry/Palin for the nomination. Shoe in for Obama in 2012. It would be the comedy of the season.

    December 12, 2011 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
  2. Marie MD

    Oh pleeeeeeeeeeeeeease, they are all out of touch. They are ALL millionaires!!!
    It's hard to feel the pain if you have never felt the hunger or being without shelter.
    Half a million credit at Tiffany's, razing a house in CA to build one triple its size, government subsidies for her husband and family's farm, weapon sellnig to Iran. The list goes on and on.

    December 12, 2011 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  3. enough of lies

    Just another crook running for office, why not require truth in politics and if you are caught then you pay the price, but then obama would owe to much and probably pay using tax dollars and sweat from the true Americans WHO WORK.

    December 12, 2011 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  4. Indepent

    Wake up people! All of these candidates (and Obama) are millionaires, many times over (just look up their wealth, it is publicly detailed because of their candidacy). While Romney is the richest candidate by far, none of them are feeling any sort of financial struggle.

    @gary Romney did work - for Bain and Company and managed the Salt Lake City Olympic Games, to respond to your statement "Never had to work a day in his life."

    December 12, 2011 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  5. Callie2

    Ah, the life of a 1% dropping $10,000.00 like its nothing on a loser bet. This is the same man who, in an attempt to identify with struggling Americans told the touching story about how when his kids were young and his wife was a stay at home mom they actually had to sell some stocks to get by. What working class families gamble $10,000.00 a bet or own enough stock shares to sell and live off of? He also thinks a soulless, lifeless, legal invention whose sole purpose is make money for select individuals is a person. If a corporation is a person, what are workers besides expendable? ANYONE BUT ROMNEY 2012!

    December 12, 2011 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  6. ava green

    Perry is spending like a drunken sailor??!!! Where do you get your information?
    Perry has managed to keep taxes low during his 10-year tenure as governor. Countless opportunities to raise taxes presented themselves during Perry’s ten years as governor, yet he resisted the temptation. Texas was ranked 49th among the states in per-capita taxes, at $1,434 a year in 2005, according to a 2009 Census Bureau report and a Texas Public Policy Foundation analysis (Feb., 2011) shows Texas with a 7.9% combined state/local tax burden, ranking it 45th among the states – for comparison, New York’s burden is 12.1%.

    December 12, 2011 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  7. EdSantaFe

    They are all millionaires and out of touch with reality

    December 12, 2011 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  8. 4th Eagle of the Apocolypse

    I'll bet $10,000 dollars all of these candidates are out of touch with reality. If you listened to the debate and watched Obama's interview on 60 minutes you would see a clear contrast. Sanity vs delusion. You should just count on 4 more years of Obama.

    December 12, 2011 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  9. tp1776

    I'm a Massachusetts Democrat. I've never voted for Romney and never will (Obama in 2012!), but the spin on this comment is crazy. It's a figure of speech, nothing more, and I'm saying that as an unemployment statistic. This whole field of Republican candidates is scary; I hope Boehner and Cantor are preparing to work with President Obama after 2012 for the good of the country.

    December 12, 2011 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  10. Kay

    And THIS group is the BEST the GOP can come up with?? I think Obama can go ahead and start writing his second inaugural address...

    December 12, 2011 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  11. Canadian Jim

    If you're as rich as any of the elitists involved in politics, you make $10,000 bets all the time. It's callled the stock market, kowtowing to lobbyists, passing laws that benefit a company that donates large amounts of money to you. The hilarious thing is, they gamble the money and take the profits, if they lose, the money comes out of taxpayers pockets, and yet very poor and middle class Americans still vote for Republicans. Democrats are guilty too, some just as bad as the Republicans, but the Dems, at least pretend to care.

    December 12, 2011 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  12. Rosa, b'ham al

    Who cares, they are all out of touch.

    December 12, 2011 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  13. ZB

    Perry got it part right: Romney is out of touch with realilty but so is everyone of the Republican/Tparty candidates not to mention the whole Republican/Tparty.

    December 12, 2011 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  14. Just Say No To Flipper

    Romney is way out of touch with the average voter, and his bet proves it. Everyday Americans, in situations in which they were challenged, will generally offer to bet a buck, a five or a ten. If they really want to emphasize their point, they'll say "make it a hundred," Romney clearly knows nothing about how normal people interact, probably because he hasn't been around any for many, many years.

    December 12, 2011 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  15. John

    Romney out of touch and Rick Perry Is a Idiot. Both both are Crook and the both LIE. And either had to work a day he there Life. And Perry Is completely brain dead.

    December 12, 2011 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  16. Richard

    Maybe Rick should have said, "my religion does not permit me to bet! Leave it up to the evangelicals to draw their own conclusions. Does anyone know that the Mormons were instrumental in funding gambling in Vegas. Look it up! It's true!

    December 12, 2011 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  17. Stop spending

    Obama is ALSO out of touch folks. Everyone in DC is. That's the real truth and the real story here.

    December 12, 2011 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  18. FedUp

    $10,000???? Reallly? I wouldn't bet 1 cent on anything a politician said.

    December 12, 2011 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  19. Kris

    This is already being blown WAY out of proportion. If you're "offended" by a $10k bet, get over it. I don't know how many times I've made "bets." Mind you, I'm not a Romney supporter. I'm also not a huge money earner and I was laid off for a year and a half. But it is amazing how a moment like this can be manipulated by political opponents and the media. It's ridiculous. What's even more ridiculous is that I have NO ONE to vote for from either party next year. I'm far more outraged by that than some stupid bet.

    December 12, 2011 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  20. roger of northridge ca

    i will bet a dollar , obama will win landslide........

    December 12, 2011 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  21. diridi

    cock doodle doo....Nation needed this "Health Care Reform" passed by Obama. No more new epithet. This law is intended to help needy, poor, and in fact Nation's dire need. It is drafted for Preexisting conditioned patients, Poor who can not afford and they can buy from State Exchanges, once they set up in 2014. it is a true law for decades this nation needed. GOP is train full of thugs, clowns, and biggest Jokers. That's it. Nothing wrong about Mandate. Car insurance is a must, why can't your health insurance be? Obama2012.

    December 12, 2011 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  22. ChumBucket

    By the way folks, Obama is a Millionare also...

    in case you all forgot.

    December 12, 2011 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  23. Andrew

    Did ANYONE every think that Romney was EVER 'in touch' with the lives of ordinary americans? EVER in his LIFE? He grew up inside the Michigan Governor's mansion as a child the son of a wealthy family and has been wealthy his entire life... as pointed out by others, he really didn't even have to work his way up to wealth like most millionaires. Nothing about what he did at that debate seems to be out of character for Mitt... although seeing how his cool demeanor is finally cracking as his desperation for power and seeing it slip away again grows, it is fun to watch...

    December 12, 2011 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  24. Rudy NYC

    Things that make you say, "Hmm."

    -What does it mean when the only things that seem to emerge "accurately" from Gov. Perry's mouth are his lies?

    December 12, 2011 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  25. Jay

    I thought Mormons are/were against gambling? That's why there's no state lottery to fund the overcrowded schools (I should know I went to them) and the best place to meet other people from your ward (parrish/church congregation) is Wendover?

    December 12, 2011 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
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