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. Jeremy

    Romney should make the point, and Ron Paul would be happy to to go down this road too, that under the Obama administration and the devaluation of the dollar and the continued spending that $10,000 isn't what it used to be baby!

    December 12, 2011 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  2. ironsides

    I'm glad the GROP think that insurance mandates are unconstitutional.
    Wait isn't car insurance mandatory in most states?
    Yes they are all out of touch to the point of they don't have a bloody clue.

    December 12, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. TJ

    Does any of the GOP candidates know about getting their hands dirty, and identifying with the every day working class american, who makes less than $50,000 a year? If this is what the GOP/TP has for candidates, I can't wait for the 2012 election.

    December 12, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

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

    Oh really??? And the Democrats aren't???

    Obama – Millionaire
    Hillary Clinton – Millionaire
    All Gore – Millionaire
    Bill Clinton – Millionaire
    John Kerry – Millionaire
    Nancy Pelosi – Millionaire

    December 12, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  5. Morley

    The really sad part is that people are defending Rick Perry for making up a lie to make an opponent look bad. Romney basically told Perry to put his money where his mouth is, and Perry knew he was wrong, so, he backed down. Neither of them are Presidential material, but, politics has simply gotten to the point where people make up crazy lies and then other people (basically too lazy to think for themselves) just repeat it until they actually believe it.

    December 12, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  6. Indy

    It's not the amount of the bet, it is just plain un Presidential or adult like to be on a stage discussing very important issues and coming up with a very childish (rich child) comment like that, Romney reminded me of a school aged rich kid that could not get his way and said "want to make a bet" and thought of using money for his most powerful tool instead of his brain. Just an outright stupid thing to say in front of millions of people.

    December 12, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  7. DandyStryker

    Neither Romney nor Perry has any idea what the average American goes through. These guys are rich beyond the imagination of most Americans. They have as much in common with average Americans as Marie Antoinette had with average French citizens.

    December 12, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  8. Pam from Iowa

    Ha! All the GOP contenders are out of touch with reality and certainly out of touch with main-stream America!

    December 12, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  9. ClydeTheSlyde

    "out of touch" meets "out to lunch"

    December 12, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    Always funny to see liberals whining about each other being out of touch
    Yes but they are ALWAYS in touch with other peoples money....

    December 12, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    At least Mitt was betting his own money! Obama is betting OUR money of his scam green jobs fiasco and $535 MILLION is down the tiolet so far with much more on its way. Can we increase the taxes of all the liberals to recoup this money???

    December 12, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  12. js75201

    I always bet a million dollars when I know I'll win. Romney knew he would win.
    Why is the $$ amount so important to all of you?

    December 12, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  13. tykl

    Being out of touch because they have money??? Being rich disqualifies somebody from the presidency?? Maybe if you put down your 99% signs and crack open any economics or business book, you'll realize your absurdity.

    December 12, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  14. politics as usual

    How long is CNN going to let this ridiculous post go on before they close it and get on with some REAL news?

    December 12, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  15. Stacey

    Aha-ha! Rick Perry is dumb and out-of-touch. All the GOP is out-of-touch and out-to-lunch as far as leadership. The GOP is a joke.

    December 12, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  16. ART

    Romney will never ever be the President of the USA

    December 12, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS

    Obama is betting OUR money of his scam green jobs fiasco ......................
    And the Republican idea would have been? ?? ?? ?? Time's up. Whatcha got for me? Nothing? That's correct!

    December 12, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  18. Liz the First

    Dear "Democrats answer to everything, TAX THE RICH, TAX BUSINESS," what planet are you currently calling home? are you really that gullible that you believe the rethugs are looking out for you??? do you really think that when things shake out to where everyone in this country is super-rich or desperately poor that you'll be in the rich group? HA, HA, HA!!!!!!!! there's a line in the great musical, '1776,' where John Dickinson says "most men would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich than face the reality of being poor, and that is why they will follow us, to the Right, Ever to the Right." but Bill Clinton said 'if you want to live like a republican, you better vote with the Democrats.' both of these statements are as true as it gets.

    December 12, 2011 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC


    Being out of touch because they have money??? Being rich disqualifies somebody from the presidency?? Maybe if you put down your 99% signs and crack open any economics or business book, you'll realize your absurdity.
    Maybe if you left the Hamptons once in a while, you'd realize just how out of touch you sound. I didn't know that economics and business text books teach you how to gamble. Or is gambling covered in that new book "Selling Derivatives"? I haven't read that one. I heard it doesn't work because it is based upon too many false assumptions and involves too much risk.

    December 12, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  20. Expat American

    Wealth is a pre-requisite to run for office in the U.S. Most of our lawmakers are very wealthy – either already before they were elected, but surely afterwards in order to stay elected...winks!
    Difference is; Romney is the only one with the unnecessary lack of class and tact to make light of his wealth.
    An extra 10k in the bank account of any working family (Democrat or Republican) would go a long way this holiday season.

    So what Romney did is not a big deal – but kind of unecessary nonetheless. And he better watch his back, as Perry is most likely to throw a Holy Bible at him.

    December 12, 2011 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  21. Cynthia C

    I've bet a million dollars before and agree it's silly but also felt disturbed. Either way, this is a debate not a frat party. Argue facts and come up with inteligent responses.

    December 12, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  22. Dave

    Figure of speech. At least he has $10k to cover the bet. I can't tell you how many times i've floated a million dollars to prove a point. You people are retarded if you are jumping on him for being 'out of touch'. I'd rather have a president who knows how to create wealth than some moron who languishes over keeping his cable tv vs. going out to eat. Don't punish him because he's not poor like you....perhaps you should be asking him how to get rich so you too can wager $10K without flinching.

    December 12, 2011 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  23. phil

    Romney is an pompous 1%er and cannot relate to anyone and even more important he doesn't know why! Paul is circling Neptune. Bachmann's husband will bring her down. How in the heck did Perry get elected Governor anyway??? Santorum is running for VP with anyone.....

    A recent analysis of Newter. "Newt Gingrich’s mind is in love with itself. It has persuaded itself that it is brilliant when it is merely promiscuous. This is not a serious mind. Gingrich is not, to put it mildly, a systematic thinker. His mind is a jumble, an amateurish mess lacking impulse control. He plays air guitar with ideas, producing air ideas. He ejaculates concepts, notions and theories that are as inconsistent as his behavior. He didn’t get whiplash being a serial adulterer while impeaching another serial adulterer, a lobbyist for Freddie Mac while attacking Freddie Mac, a self-professed fiscal conservative with a whopping Tiffany’s credit line, and an anti-Communist Army brat who supported the Vietnam War but dodged it.

    Huntsman is the only remaining candidate with the integrity, experience, and wisdom required to beat Obama. Can't figure out why he isn't getting any respect!

    December 12, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  24. Liz the First

    Being rich shouldn't disqualify anyone from running for office, being stupid should! i'm beginning to think we should just call people to congress duty like we call folks for jury duty. you serve a year and get out. we couldn't do any worse than we are now, and since we wouldn't have any career politicians looking at every issue from the perspective of getting re-elected, we may do a whole lot better.

    December 12, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  25. Paul L

    I love it! Let the circus continue!!!! 4 more years! 4 more years! Thanks to the republicans who are pathetic x10! President Obama will be a 2nd term President thanks to the buffons in the republican party! .p a p a r a z z i n c . c o m

    December 12, 2011 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
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