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

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. (More Mitt Romney stories.)

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