Romney's $10K Bet a Bad Move

Big-money bet makes Romney look rich, out of touch, say critics

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 11, 2011 5:35 AM CST

(Newser) – Trailing a surging Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney needed to make a splash in last night's GOP debate to take back the momentum. Well, Romney definitely splashed, thanks to his bold $10,000 wager over his belief in an individual mandate for health insurance—but how much do you want to bet Romney wishes he could take back the big-money wager now? After trying so hard to prove to people that he is just a regular guy, multi-millionaire Romney "may have given his GOP rivals and President Obama a gold-plated gift in Saturday’s debate in Iowa," writes the LA Times. "Not a lot of 99%'ers are out there making $10,000 bets," tweeted a former Obama White House aide, adding, "If corporations were people, $10,000 bets actually wouldn't be that big of a deal."

Despite pundits everywhere calling the bet a major gaffe, Romney's supporters refused to call it anything other than a victory. "Mitt Romney knew that Rick Perry wouldn't take the bet because it's a phony attack," a senior Romney advisor told Reuters. "By backing down, Perry looked weak. " But Perry's supporters did not seem worried. “If Mitt is the nominee, we’ll see that $10,000 bet offer about 10,000 more times,” tweeted one Perry supporter. Jon Huntsman's team promised that a website was on its way, and a spokesperson noted that Romney has argued for a "government-run, mandate approach ... I guess he owes Rick Perry $10,000." Democrats were pretty happy about the whole thing, too. "I'm doing an endzone dance on it," tweeted one Democratic strategist. Click for a rundown of the debate or see who won and who lost.

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney takes part in the Republican debate, last night in Des Moines, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
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Mitt Romney offering a 10k bet to Rick Perry during last night's GOP debate.   (djgabrielpresents)

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