Mrs. Romney chided husband on bet
December 11th, 2011
08:17 PM ET
10 years ago

Mrs. Romney chided husband on bet

Hudson, New Hampshire (CNN) – Mitt Romney offered up a mea culpa via his wife Sunday, the day after the presidential candidate offered his opponent a $10,000 bet in a debate performance some analysts called his weakest to date.

"After the debate was over Ann came up and gave me a kiss and said I was great. And she said, 'There are a lot of things you do well. Betting isn't one of them,'" Romney told reporters in New Hampshire.

Romney's high-dollar bet came in a moment of pique Saturday night, as he accused Texas Gov. Rick Perry of misquoting his writings on health care. Romney offered to bet Perry $10,000 that he was right.

The candidate's advisers quickly worked to contain the potential damage of Romney's comment, which came in a debate in which the candidate acknowledged he was raised in an affluent household.

"I didn't grow up poor," Romney said Saturday. "And if somebody is looking for someone who's grown up with that background, I'm– I'm not the person."

He seemed undaunted by the bad debate reviews Sunday, as he cracked jokes with a town hall audience in Hudson and described talking with New Hampshirites as they waited in line to see Santa Claus in Milford that morning.

"I got a chance to meet a lot of people today because they were lined up to see Santa Claus," he said. "So, as a good politician I saw an opportunity."

He took one veiled swipe at opponent Newt Gingrich, after a voter asked how he would work to achieve a two-state solution in the Middle East.

Gingrich has come under for fire for remarks he made calling Palestinians an "invented" people, language some of his opponents charged was inflammatory.

"I will speak with care and caution and stability and sobriety, and I will speak in collaboration with the leaders in Israel," Romney told the audience.

The former governor also played up his outsider status, telling the audience he supported term limits for legislators serving in Congress and taking aim at the nation's capital city.

"I am not a creature of Washington," he said, adding after he served as president he would return to his New Hampshire summer home in the state's lake region. "I will go home. I love Lake Winnipesaukee a lot better than I love Washington, I've gotta tell you."

Speaking with the media after his event, Romney went a step further than before when asked about campaign surrogates who have attacked Gingrich.

He said his supporters, such as former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu, who has called Gingrich "self-aggrandizing" and "irrational," were culling from their own experience with the former speaker.

"I will not distance myself from the comments of people who are describing their experience and their assessment of the speaker based on that experience," Romney said.

Filed under: 2012 • Ann Romney • Mitt Romney
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Fed Up

    I'm at a loss as to why Romney wants to be president. If I had just a small part of his wealth, being president would be the last thing on my mind.

    December 11, 2011 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  2. GalacticCannibal

    As each year goes by , my country the USA gets more and more paranoid and pathetic.. Imagine making a big deal about a $10k bet by candidate Romney to Gov Perry in a GOP debate on national TV. I mean what a bunch of wimps, and our propaganda driven media has a field day with it.. And the holier than though masses are upset.
    Imagine Hillary Clinton telling Russians your election is corrupt. . Its none of her business and none of my country's business. We are as corrupt a nation as any other on this planet. As least other nations don't go around attacking countries who did not attach us., like we do. Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan etc

    December 11, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  3. Lost inTexas FOREVER and EVER

    good to be able to see rich people can make jokes about being able to afford offering up $10,000 wagers while the average Ameican nowadays is trying to figure out making ends meet. Yet THESE are the folks that are suppose to feel our pain, right? The more they do this kind of stuff the larger the OWS movement is going to grow.

    December 11, 2011 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  4. Bill

    Economy is number 1. I don't understand why the Iowa folks dislike Romney so much. He is by far the best candidate to rebound this economy. And Newt?! I don't get that one at all. He needs to turn back in the 1.6M of TARP money from Freddie Mac and go to the gym. He looked like a tub out there last night!

    December 11, 2011 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  5. Shelby

    Mrs. Romney will be a wise, warm and beautiful First Lady.

    Mr. Romney will be a very capable president....just what our country needs.

    December 11, 2011 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  6. T'sah from Virginia

    MITTens – you have been doing this for the past almost ten years – if you don't have it "down packed" by now, forget it!!!

    Obama 2012!!

    December 11, 2011 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  7. Woman In California

    Talk about "staged PR". He made a disgusting remark about throwing away money during a recession and he got caught. There is nothing Mrs. Romney can EVER do to erase that exchange and I don't blame Perry for using it against him. For months now he's kept his hands clean (as usual) while everyone else was attacked and now the attacks are coming his way and he can't handle them. Your days are numbered Willard because there are lot of us who did not find your "little" $10,000 tantrum funny.

    Obama 2012

    December 11, 2011 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  8. Ramesh Shrestha

    We, the Latter-day Saints, are taught not to gamble and we do not gamble. I am very sure Mitt has bene taught the same message in his life and I believe he has stuck to it. But when comes to the Office of the President of the United States, he went hail Mary. Where are his principles?

    December 11, 2011 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  9. Ramesh Shrestha

    Romney is truly out of touch with average Americans. He does not know them and does not understand their pain. For that matter, no GOP candidate does. So, Go Barack 2012!

    December 11, 2011 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  10. Iowa

    That's Awesome Great man..........

    December 11, 2011 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  11. Mike in Newmarket NH

    Mitt going home to the big lake; just another prop for his election as he is far from NH's favorite son.

    December 11, 2011 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    "After the debate was over Ann came up and gave me a kiss and said I was great. And she said, 'There are a lot of things you do well. Betting isn't one of them,'" Romney told reporters in New Hampshire."

    Kind of a GW "Mission Accomplished" moment, yes, Mittens? You know, one of those seemingly insignificant moments of stupidity that can flush an entire campaign down the toilet overnight ... your wife's own biased opinion of your "greatness" notwithstanding.

    That Romney doesn't seem to have a care in the world over the blow-back of insensitivity he's created for himself is as evident as his total dismissal of having done anything too terribly foolish that a well placed (and utterly flat) "joke" voiced here and there can't fix. Wait for the fallout, Romney. We'll see who gets the last laugh.

    December 11, 2011 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  13. A Texas Democrat

    $10,000 is pocket change for Romney !!!!! -- Most people don`t make $10,000 is 2 months.

    December 11, 2011 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  14. Four and The Door

    Mitt Romney was a star in the debate. He was sharp, confident and every bit the leader that will get Washington back in shape doing the work of the people. The last 3 years have been an odd corruption of what is necessary. Voters made an error in judgement in 2008. Live and learn. And do better in 2012.

    December 12, 2011 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  15. Boy ol' Boy

    Rich politicians throwing around $10,000 bets while most of us struggle to make ends meet.

    December 12, 2011 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  16. James M

    It is a Class "C" Felony in Iowa to offer a $10,000 bet. Iowa Statute 725.7(.1.b) and (.2.d) Illegal gaming in the first degree if the sum of money or value of other property involved exceeds five thousand dollars. Illegal gaming in the first degree constitutes a class "C" felony. Up to 10 years in prison. And Iowa is one of those states with mandatory minimum sentences (but not for first offenses of gambling).

    December 12, 2011 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  17. m

    and which of his several houses does he plan to live in during the winter?

    December 12, 2011 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  18. Donkey Party

    Sounds like Romney wants to take his marching orders from Israel.

    December 12, 2011 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  19. sw

    Well, I watched the debate on Sat. and I didn't feel Gingrich was that good. Romney wasn't bad, either. As for the bet, it's actually natural when someone insists on a false statement and you want to show strongly that that person was making a wrong statement. As for the amount, 10000 dollars is not that huge at all. Guess people in Iowa make little money there. In CA, it's not a big deal. Plus Romney is a rich man, and it's no secret. Why should we want a poor man to be our President? I don't understand this. A poor man or a man who has grown up poor is not necessarily a better person, and a rich man is necessarily a bad person. As a matter of fact, a rich man probably can function better and more at ease in a leadership position, and more people might be willing to listen to him. We don't need a competition to see which candidate is poorer. We need to know who is more likely to have more people willing to cooperate with him as president so that our government won't stop running nicely for our own benefit. Whoever can make both parties cooperate again and have more people in Government willing to work together again is the best person for presidency, because this country is in great need of government officials willing to work together and comprise with each other and make this country rise up again. That's the focus. It doesn't matter if the man is rich himself. Actually, as a president, he might be more cautious not to be too obviously nice to the rich class. The same with a black president, he actually can't do much for the black people, because he needs to stay away from being called playing favoritism. But a white president such as Clinton can benefit the black community better because a white president is more conscious to show he doesn't not play down on the black community. So it's not necessarily bad.

    December 12, 2011 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  20. TomInRochNY

    Betting isn't the only thing you're not good at, Mitt.

    December 12, 2011 07:32 am at 7:32 am |