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. The Real Tom Paine

    My, what keen powers of observation the governor of TX has: I feel safe, knowing that he's been able to draw that conclusion. Too bad millions of people beat him to it, and very few of them are running for the GOP nomination.

    December 12, 2011 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  2. Buster Bloodvessel

    It's true, but he will be nominated anyway, choose T-Pawl as his Veep, and lose.

    December 12, 2011 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  3. TM

    Is he any more out of touch than Gingrich and his $250000 line of credit at Tiffany's? Or someone who stole his economic policies from a computer game? Or someone who believes prayer can change someone else's sexual preference? Or someone who can't even remember the names of THREE government agencies (one of which obviously needs MORE funding if your performance is any indication)? The ENTIRE Grand Old Tea Party is out of touch!

    December 12, 2011 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    Ava, TX also ranks near the bottom in every category that matter: oh, by the way, when you cite NY and other blue states, please bear in mind that the Northeast generally has unemployment at far lower rates than more conservative states, and we also have the mechanisms and means to assist those in getting back to work.

    December 12, 2011 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  5. dave

    Neither one of these people is an "ordinary American". That is fine; I am pretty sure I want my President to be an Extraordinary person. These men are driven, ambitious, successful and fortunate. By using the figure $10K – Romney was trying to force Perry to back down or admit to being part of the elite too by taking a $10K bet.

    Perry's response should have been "I am not interested in a bet over semantics. The point is that you [Romney] brought a state controled health care system to Mass that became the model for Obamacare. I think Obamacare is bad for the country and if the voters agree, they should voe for me.""

    that is what he should have said

    December 12, 2011 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  6. Buster Bloodvessel

    "Ron Paul is winning the polls" You just go on telling yourself that, sparky.

    December 12, 2011 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  7. Patricksday

    There all out of touch with the average American, they only desire to take from the poor to give to the Very Wealthy. GREED and Hunger for Power is the only motivator for this collection of misfits. Too bad the people of Quality dont wish to have their name tarnished by the GOP. They eat their own, I dont see anyone being the VP because they have all slammed each other so bad.

    December 12, 2011 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  8. Marie MD

    @independent Obama wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth. A lot of these other folks inherited their wealth.
    There's a BIG difference on how they grew up and what money, or not, they had.

    December 12, 2011 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  9. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    How come no one points out Perry's 7-figure+ worth? While he was not born with a silver foot in his mouth like his predecessor as Governor, Ricky-boy's personal worth is right up there almost on a par with real rich people.

    December 12, 2011 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  10. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    To: Woman in California – John Huntsman did not choose to not attend. He was not invited due to his low poll numbers in Iowa.

    December 12, 2011 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  11. Sandy

    "corporations are people, my friend" "I'm running for office for Pete's sake"' "$10k bet"

    Romney is definitely out of touch with the average American.

    Bye bye, Romney.

    Obama 2012!

    December 12, 2011 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  12. Tex71

    Perry is right on the money – Romney bets, on a stupid point of contention, what amounts to 4 months' salary for most Americans, many of whom have lost their homes over less than $10,000 in back payments. Romney is out of touch, but Perry is a complete hypocrite: he is Governor of a state among the highest in poverty, homelessness and school dropouts, yet spent millions in taxpayers' money on redecorating the governor's mansion – and about a million more for a long-term stay in a 5 star hotel during the renovation.

    December 12, 2011 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  13. terry

    Out of touch? Really? Ya think? Son of a governor, roughed his "missionary years" being a driver for an "elder". Profited by slashing and burning companies/jobs, ... Lives in big houses in MA, NH, CA, ... No, he's not out of touch.

    December 12, 2011 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  14. Ann Marie

    I think the vast majority of posters here are nuts! Do you really think he was placing a bet on nationwide tv? If he said "I'd bet the farm" would we be scouring land records to find if Mr. Romney was in actuality a farmer. Why isn't there the indignation over six figure trips to Spain, Martha's Vineyard and Hawaii? Why isn't there indignation over sending the girls to a grammar school that charges $30,000 per year and not the outstanding DC public school system? Why not some indignation over Mrs. Obama wearing $600 Lanvin sneaker to a homeless shelter. Grow up – we get it no matter what Obama does you're OK with it.

    December 12, 2011 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  15. Bet is a joke, but....

    "Mitt Romney is worth 200 million - what jobs has he created with his wealth and extended Bush tax credits? He was on the campaign talking about how he is one of the unemployed. If he can't create a job for himself with his wealth, how is he going to create jobs for the common man with all the money in the world?"

    December 12, 2011 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  16. Mark

    The republicans are going toi niminate the candidate that most identifies with their stand on honesty, ethics and family values.....Newt.

    December 12, 2011 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  17. schubb

    The only people out of touch are the media and the people that took this seriously...I hear people make these types of crazy bets all the time, none are serious about them, they are said to prove a point.

    December 12, 2011 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  18. CBR

    What a wasted effort about a bet! While they were both standing looking so smug, probably another few hundred people became homeless, more children went to bed hungry,more people cannot heat their homes, and families are becoming the pawns during this "cute" little political game. Mr. Romney might have given $10,000 to a food or homeless shelter. Governor Perry could do the same.

    Haven't we heard enough and seen enough to know that these debates produce the same old answers. Wouldn't it be nice to hear one candidate say let's get some legislation done to benefit the average homeowner.

    This exchange is why these debates have become so foolish. There is no real substnace.

    December 12, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  19. J

    Romney should have bet a million bucks like those of us in the middleclass do because everyone knows that no one has a million bucks to back up their bet in the middleclass, it's just a token amount. But Romney betting $10K? That's a specific amount that he would be able to pay but not very many of us living on Main Street have that kind of money. Sorry, but Romney blew it big time with this one.

    December 12, 2011 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  20. TIGER2

    The only problem that Iowans have with the bet is that it wasn't high enough. What a bunch of fools to believe that these people are so principled and upright. They're no better that the rest of us Americans. They just wear there religion and political leanings on their sleeves.

    December 12, 2011 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  21. Mark1

    No matter how strongly I felt about any position, I would never even dream of betting that much money.

    December 12, 2011 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  22. Portland tony

    Now I see how many dubious political stories are.written. Some politician makes a stupid 10 word statement and hundreds of people write pages and pages of nonsense just commenting on it.

    December 12, 2011 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  23. Tom

    All the GOP candidates for president are out of touch.

    December 12, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  24. db

    This is so ridiculous people are making something out of this. So no one who is poor or no one who lives in Iowa has ever turned to a friend or anyone and said "i will bet you $10K you are wrong". Please people this is no big deal. In fact what Perry should have said was "I do not like to gamble but if I am wrong dinner on me" or "if I am wrong I will give a hundred to your favorite charity Mitt". Now that would have actually made Perry look good.

    December 12, 2011 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  25. Lynda/Minnesota

    A figure of speech, huh? Let's see. Perry criticized Romney, and Romney came back with a hand extended, let's "shake" on it wager ... a just between us, wink, wink, I got you, buddy, moment. Perry declined the wager, and the handshake. Romney then goes into a "oh, yeah ... sure ... snicker, snicker ... uh huh ... I'm a teenager in your face" rant.

    All in a nights debate between two presidential wannabees? The media is overreaching, huh? What America got in that moment was a man who doesn't like to be criticized, and when he is criticized throws tantrums, rolls his eyes, stamps his feet, and gives us his best "I'm going to get you" spoiled brat banter.

    If this is how CEOs make decisions in boardrooms across America, perhaps Romney ought to stay in the private sector ... where little boys are little boys pretending to be men ... and leave the really big decisions to those better able to handle conflict.

    December 12, 2011 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10