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. clsjey

    I wish I could afford to make a $10,000 wager. I can't afford a $1 lottery ticket.

    December 12, 2011 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  2. TotallyAmused

    Where's Bill Bennett when you need him? A 10k bet? His mouth must have been salivating.

    But yes, Romney put his foot in his mouth. He 'rubbed it in". A wager for a good bottle of wine or bourbon would have been fine to make his point. Most Americans could only dream of wagering this much money to make a (political) point. Applause for Huntsman and his new website.

    December 12, 2011 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  3. Andrew

    This is classic media-driven "gotcha" nonsense. Who cares how much romney bet, I'm not wealthy but I've challenged people to millon dollar bets before when I have 100% confidence I'm right and want to prove a point. If people really want to make dedicions on such trivial "gotcha" moments, then its a very sad commentary on our political culture and the future of America. How about we focus on real issues, like character and leadership - Gingrich's arrogance and history of hypocrisy is legendary, hje is incredibly poorly suited to be president and the leader of the free world. his mouth gets him in trouble all the time and his ethical record both preofessionally and personally is appalling. He's quite possibly the last person we need in the highest office, he's dangerous. Let him work at some non-profit 'think tank' and write articles with his silly ideas like building moon colonies and erecting mirrors in space to light our highways, he's a nutcase and an unethical one at that. He'd be totally crushed in a general electoin, Obama must be smacking his lips at the thought of running against stuch a weak generaly election candidate.

    December 12, 2011 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  4. paul

    Conservatives have a choice. A multi-millionaire that is "out of touch" or a multi-millionaire that has been very weak on "family values" and "morals" . Let's see, tough choice. O.k., better go with......Obama 2012

    December 12, 2011 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  5. Ace

    Lindsay Lohan is missing $10,000. Coincidence?

    December 12, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  6. Mauri

    GUESS how much Rick Perry and wife sock the state for monthly rent on house in Austin's finest while mansion under repairs for years? You guessed it:
    $10,000/mo. Why blame Romney for overreacting to Perry absurdity?

    December 12, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  7. TAK

    This was Mitt Romney's Howard Dean moment. Game Over.
    Newt will be the nominee. President Obama wins re-election.

    December 12, 2011 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  8. felix

    Out of touch?! I live in Mass, and when Scott Brown won Kennedy's seat, Good ole Mitt Romney got the idea to buy a "working mans" Ford Super Duty for the sole purpose of being seen driving it around. Although he later claimed that it was used to pull around one of his yachts. What a schmuck!

    December 12, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  9. Chris Phillips

    I wish there was a political blog that I could read and gather good information about our presidential contenders, one without a bunch of personal opinions. I'm also not sure why people on this blog want to point out how horrible Romney is because he was willing to bet $10,000. I'm sure that every single presidential candidate has more money than I'll ever have (and it sucks I don't have that much money), but I'm not going to be mad at someone else because they're rich. In addition, if I was making a bet that I knew that I would win, I would bet the highest amount that I could without making it so high that the other person would "fold". Evidently, Perry folded, but that doesn't mean that Romney is a bad person for offering the bet. It just means that he felt so highly of his position that he knew he could only win (so why not bet the farm?).

    December 12, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  10. Publius Novus

    This was a telling statement by Mr. Mittens. A true gentleman would have offered a gentleman's bet of $1.

    December 12, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  11. Larry, Curly, or Moe for GOP Nomination

    The whole GOP field is out of touch. Sorry, but if we really want a clown show, let's bring back the three stooges. I tried listening to the debate and finally gave up in despair.

    December 12, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  12. da

    @TAK, I think you are right on with your comment!! Mind you I could care less about either of them...OBAMA 2012!!

    December 12, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  13. Sniffit

    I'll bet you 10,000 Bain-caused pink slips that Mittens isn't getting the nomination.

    "Bottom line MITT DID NOTHING WRONG"

    I beg to differ: Mittens made the cardinal political mistake of saying something that, due to context and the person saying it, left him hugely exposed to opposition hyping the perception that he is an elitist, out of touch with average Americans, lives in a total fantasy world, likes to throw his vast amounts of wealth around, etc. While it is true that people use the rhetorical idiom of suggesting a bet liek this, Mittens and his team should have had the brains, forethought and awareness to recognize what such a statement coming out of Mittens' mouth would sound like and yet they failed, which SHOWS just hwo out of touch they are.

    December 12, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  14. Joe citizen abroad

    Perry said the former Massachusetts governor is "a little out of touch with normal Iowa citizens," ...and then blacked out for 20 seconds.

    December 12, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  15. Lee

    I do not see why everyone is so bent out of shape over the bet thing. I bet my wife all the time I am right and she is wrong. My bets range from $5, to $100, sometimes $1000, and on occasion I bet her a million dollars. I have pretty much lost track on who owes what, though I am sure she can come up with a figure. Point is, making a ridiculously high bet does not make you "out of touch with struggling America". It just illustrates how confident you are that your opinion or assertion is correct.

    December 12, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  16. rs

    "Out of touch"???
    That defines the GOP/TP- not only are they out of touch with the majority of Americans, they have been actively working to subvert the President, and the economic recovery from the disaster they left us with. I think this is called TREASON!

    December 12, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  17. da

    LOL...Presidential election 101, NEVER, NEVER during economic hard times of the American people, boast about having money!!! He is toast!! Oh well looks like you guys will have Obama 2012!! I bet he come out with an ad now talking about his humble beginings. LOL....

    December 12, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  18. gg

    what a mess

    December 12, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  19. The Real Tom Paine

    Ann Marie, please, the attempt to turn this moment into a referendum on the president and his family is laughable. What about all the times shuttling W and his entourage back to TX ( where has spent far more time relaxing and cutting brush than Obama has on vacation up to this stage)? Please, your outrage over the president does not answer the basic thrust of what Perry was saying, that Romney has no real idea what the average person goes through. Frankly, none of these millionaires have a clue as to what people go through these days. What is at stake at this point is whether or not the GOP really wants to give people a shot at improving their lives or whether they want to live in their echo chambers with sycophants and political consultants who are equally clueless, telling them what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear. The days of the free lunch for the rich are over: they don't need help. The middle class want stability and the opportunity to get themselves out of trouble. They don't want to subsidize these idiots who only seek to inflame them so they can get more tax breaks to ship jobs out of the country after the unions have coughed up even more wage concessions.

    December 12, 2011 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  20. Phil in KC

    What I took from that exchange was Romney's certainty that he was right and Perry was wrong. I think that's what Romney was trying to convey. It was not terribly unusual, when I was a kid, to hear someone say, "I'll bet you a thousand dollars", even though the other kid probably didn't have 25 cents in his pocket. Again, the kid was trying to illustrate how certain he was of his position. That's all Romney was doing. Of course, in this case, Romney does have the $10K, but which of those candidates on that stage does not?

    December 12, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  21. Expat American

    Looks like a rich creepy dracula guy and a crazy two-steppin’ Bible guy are going to lose the nomination to the now older, fatter but same old dirty politics 1995 guy.

    December 12, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  22. Buster Bloodvessel

    Actually, Newt best exemplifies the GOP's values; fat, greedy, rich, mean, adulterous guy whose Contract on America advocated Party before Country and helped wreck the consensus that made our nation great. He is Mr. GOP.

    December 12, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  23. mw-maryland

    Pot calling kettle? They are ALL out of touch.

    December 12, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  24. mark

    Oh please, I've offered to bet a million dollars before. Intelligent people understand that it's a phrase that's meant to indicate that you know you're correct. And in this case, that that idiot Perry is uninformed, again.
    And now people are going to make a hero out of this fool for an incorrect statement and then just standing there saying nothing while Romney made the bet? I'm not a Romney fan, but this Perry's just an idiot.

    December 12, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  25. sparknut

    Are Mormons allowed to gamble?

    December 12, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
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