Mitt Romney tried to bet Rick Perry $10,000 last night during the Republican debate. Romney said he’d bet Perry $10,000 that he never supported individual mandates. The issue of individual mandates quickly vanished as the fellow candidates, voters, and pundits, started criticizing Romney for carelessly tossing around that much cash.
Perry capitalized on the incident this morning, saying:
“I was taken a little aback. (I don’t think) anyone in Iowa would even think that a ten thousand dollar bet was possible. (Romney is) “out of touch with the normal Iowa citizen.”
Romney, a multi-millionaire, has been trying to associate himself more with the common man, but many pundits say that statements like this make it impossible for voters to forget Romney’s status.
Bill Burton, spokesman for PrioritiesUSA, said:
“It is predictable that Mitt Romney will slip up and let folks in on who he is from time-to-time… Corporations are people, joking about being unemployed and now this. Mitt Romney has no clue what pain the American middle class is feeling right now.”
The Democratic National Committee also pounced on the bet. The DNC sent out a release listing all the things that an Amiercan family can buy with $10,000. According to the DNC:
- $10,000 is more than four months pay for most Americans.
- $10,000 is three times more than what the average family spends on groceries in a year.
But Mitt Romney’s camp isn’t looking at the incident as a negative. Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior Romney adviser, said that the incident demonstrated Perry’s weakness not Romney’s wealth. Fehrnstrom told Reuters:
“Mitt Romney knew that Rick Perry wouldn’t take the bet because it’s a phony attack. By backing down, Perry looked weak.”
What do you think of Romney’s $10,000 bet? Was he just making a casual, hypothetical bet to show that Perry couldn’t back up his accusations? Or is Romney really that careless with cash?