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. SoSad

    Newt Romeny go Bachman go, uh, go home!

    December 12, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  2. Martin

    The moderators of this debate should be charged with a misdemeanor for not trying to stop Mr Romney from placing the bet.

    Under Iowa law 725.5 "Any person who keeps a house, shop, or place resorted to for the purpose of gambling, or permits any person in any house, shop, or other place under the person's control or care to conduct bookmaking or to play at cards, dice, faro, roulette, equality, punchboard, slot machine or other game for money or other thing, commits a serious misdemeanor."

    The moderators allowed the discussion of the bet to take place, therefore they should be charged under this law.

    December 12, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. scoto

    Nothing more nauseating than multi-millionaires trying to prove their "common folks" credentials

    December 12, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  4. Skitownrefugee

    Not only is Romney out of touch (something many of us have known for a long time) but the guy is a bundle of nerves. Do we need a nervous president? Wonder what he'd be like in a real crissis? He'd be completely FREAKED OUT!

    December 12, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  5. Liz the First

    Romney isn't any more out of touch than any other rethug candidate. what they're all out of touch with is REALITY! they actually put each other down for daring to set foot in realityland, as evidenced by michelle bachmann condemning romney and gingrich for daring to acknowledge we need to do something about climate change. i've never seen a sorrier field of candidates. it shows clearly the crumbling of the rethug party, and i, for one, can't wait to see it relegated to the dustbin of history.

    December 12, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  6. Indy

    Republicans are out of touch period. I often wonder how a soldier feels when he or she comes home to a country torn apart by Republicans. Those that serve fight for the entire country and Republicans fight for 1% of the country. The entire world watches as Republicans do everything in their power to fight for the 1% and screw the rest, and that is out of touch with the entire world.

    December 12, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Has anyone noticed that Gingrich is soaring like an eagle because he's flying with turkeys?

    December 12, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  8. Mr. LT

    Williard, Willard, Willard....The phrase goes "I'll bet you a million bucks!" And if Mr. Perry were a real Texan, his response would have been, "You call that a bet?"

    December 12, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  9. MICKY

    It doesn't matter which of these candidates gets the bid! They will follow the Republican party philosophy regardless! SAVE yourself frustration! Either your like the Republican agenda or you like the Democratic agenda! Doesn't matter which pawn brings it to the table!

    December 12, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  10. AlaskaPalin

    Myth mispoke. What he has done is to flaunt his money and that is always a political mistake during a recession. Here is wishing all american in a financial position where $10000 will seem miniscule.

    December 12, 2011 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  11. Riley

    President Romney will get us out of this mess Obama has created.

    December 12, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  12. Backtracking!

    Romney rolled $10,000 off his tongue like it was pocket change to him! He's trying to backtrack just like Cain had to do several times when he stepped in it. Romney is rich, super rich and $10,000 is pocket change to him, but, Romney is NO FDR!

    December 12, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  13. Rudy NYC

    mark wrote:

    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.
    I would agree with you except for the fact that Gov. Romney didn't offer to bet "a million bucks." Gov. Romney offered to bet ten grand. Gov. Perry didn't turn him down because he couldn't afford the bet. Perry declined because he didn't want to lose so public a challenge.

    Either one of them could easily afford the bet. The amount is one of those "1% jokes" made by people who play for keeps. It fits the negative stereotype of an elitist, member of an exclusive country club would make over his martini.

    December 12, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  14. DS

    This article is so damn funny. Rick Perry CAN NOT talk about other being out of touch since his "no gays in the military" you tube video (aka advertisement) is the LEAST LIKED video on youtube, even beating Rebecca Black's "Friday". So, i ask this, if you're so "in touch" these days Rick Perry, why do so many people obviously think you're the one who is out of touch?

    December 12, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  15. Mike, Albany

    Absolutely disgusting! It's time to nominate and elect a scientist to the White House. Solving problems is the scientist's raison d'etre. Want to see an example? Look at Merkel, who is a chemist by training and is doing an admirable job in the German Chancellor. Sadly, this will probably never happen in America because if there's one thing America does NOT value, it's intelligence.

    December 12, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  16. vatoloke

    To Mittins $10K is just a drop in the bucket when his Mrs. buys horses from France to have at thier several homes scattered throughout the country. Elitest much?

    December 12, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. Woman In California

    Thank you to those who pointed out to me Huntsman's numbers were too low for him to attend. My fault.

    December 12, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  18. Buck

    isn't the real issue here that we're focusing on a silly turn of phrase instead of the truly horrific things that have been said by these "candidates"? From Bachmann's "HPV vaccine will cause retardation" to Perry's youtube ad, to Gingrich's "palestinians are a made up race" . . .isn't the real issue here that NONE of these candidates should represent their own household let alone the entire USA? I, for one, cannot stand this ignorant, bigoted view of the world and the fact that these people haven't been laughed out of the race shows that american's care enough to be mad, but not enough to risk an election. Until us so called, 99% or Normal people or Middle Class, don't stand for this type of behavior who are we to criticize them for saying these things?

    December 12, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  19. Mike

    Really? I can’t imagine how the corporation loving, Mormon millionaire could possibly be out of touch with the average American. Doesn’t he put his pants on by having two servants hold them in the air while he jumps into them both feet at once from the bed stand like everyone else?

    December 12, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  20. nytw

    Always funny to see liberals whining about each other being out of touch.

    December 12, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  21. A Texas Democrat

    Romney`s out of touch ???? Well, so is Perry..........

    December 12, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  22. The GOP is out of touch

    Romney is out of touch, but the whole stage is full of millionaires. They don't get it.

    December 12, 2011 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  23. Lisa

    Why is everyone talking about a $10K Bet? Everyone knows that all GOP/ DNC people running for office are most of the time wealthy. Since Romney is wealthy, Maybe we need to take some advice and implement some of his business strategies to help the America to become a thriving country again. The media doesn't say much about the Obama's extravagant and real expensive vacations taking hundreds of so called friends spending tax payers money. Then they try to act like they care so much about the middle class that are struggling and the people looking for jobs.

    December 12, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  24. bry55

    Mitt, Please remember that Perry is just like one of the bullies we encountered in Jr High. Not very smart and looking for a fight. When he starts to pick at you, you seem to loose your cool, get all upset and then you say or act in a way that ultimately embarrasses you. Next time, try and stay calm and pick your words in a more wise and dignified manner. In the end, he will appear as the idiot that he is.

    December 12, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  25. ProperVillain

    Newsflash: ALL politicians live in their own little bubbles of reality and are out of touch...

    December 12, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
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