Democrats Do Backflips Over Romney’s 10K Bet


Democrats Do Backflips Over Romney’s 10K Bet


Benjy Sarlin5400

Democrats could barely contain their glee after Mitt Romney proposed a $10,000 bet with Rick Perry over his health care position.

“He’s going to own that $10,000 bet line,” DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse said on Twitter. “Nothing else he has said in this debate matters.”

Before the debate ended, the DNC was out with an e-mail to reporters trying to put the $10,000 number into perspective, noting it was more than the average in-state tuition at a public university, for example.

But it was Twitter where things really took off. Woodhouse and other DNC officials began tweeting a #What10kbuys hashtag to amplify their message, with items like a year of daycare for the average family. Within less than a half hour of the debate’s end, it was one of the top trending topics not just in Iowa, or in the United States, but around the world, according to Twitter.

“I’ll bet you ten thousand beers Mitt lives to regret that $10K bet line,” Democratic strategist Paul Begala tweeted.

The episode recalled Romney’s “corporations are people” moment at an Iowa event, which Democrats pounced on in similar fashion. Romney responded to that episode, which many observers interpreted as a gaffe at the time, by doubling down on the line and using it again on the trail and in his official economic plan.

It appears they’re taking a similar tack this time as well. Romney spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, for his part, told TPM that he thought the line went over just fine, describing it as a “good moment” for the former Massachusetts governor.

“It made Perry look weak,” he said, adding that Romney made the wager “because he knew Perry wouldn’t take it.”

Evan McMorris-Santoro contributed to this post.


Romney's $10,000 bet falls flat in Iowa debate

DES MOINES | Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:58pm EST


(Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney put his money where his mouth was on Saturday in a quip at a presidential debate that may have backfired.


Romney, a multi-millionaire and a frontrunner for the Republican nomination, offered a $10,000 bet to opponent Texas Gov. Rick Perry in an argument over what Romney wrote about healthcare in his book "No Apologies."


Former Massachusetts governor Romney tried to bet that he had not supported implementing an individual healthcare mandate, mistrusted by conservatives.


"Rick, I'll tell you what: 10,000 bucks?," Romney said. Perry, like many of those assembled at Iowa's Drake University for the debate, seemed surprised by the offer.


"I'm not in the betting business, but I'll show you the book," Perry said.


The bet line could potentially hurt Romney, who has suffered in the polls in recent weeks as former speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich has risen in the polls. Romney's wealth has long been a point of attack from Democrats who say the former head of Bain Capital is out of touch.


Bill Burton, spokesman for PrioritiesUSA, an outside group supporting President Barack Obama's re-election, said the attempted wager is another sign that in an economy with 8.6 percent unemployment, Romney "could not be more out of step."


Burton, a former Obama administration official, pointed to other statements Romney has made joking about being unemployed and calling corporations people.


"It is predictable that Mitt Romney will slip up and let folks in on who he is from time-to-time," Burton said in an email. "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."


Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior Romney adviser, said the campaign was not concerned the comment might make its candidate appear out of touch.


"Not at all," Fehrnstrom said in an email to Reuters. "Mitt Romney knew that Rick Perry wouldn't take the bet because it's a phony attack. By backing down, Perry looked weak."


Rival Republican Jon Huntsman's campaign seized on Romney's remark, promising in an email that the website was on its way.


"While Jon Huntsman signed free-market health care without a mandate, Mitt Romney was arguing that his government-run, mandate approach should be a model for the nation," Huntsman spokesman Tim Miller said.


"I guess he owes Rick Perry $10,000."


Romney foes will take that bet


The line of the debate, as far as Democrats are concerned, is evidently Mitt Romney’s offer of a $10,000 bet to Rick Perry. The DNC has already blasted out an email titled: “Here’s What the Average American Family Can Buy with $10,000.” And a senior Democratic Party strategist emails to exult in Romney’s rich-guy moment:

Mitt Romney is going to rue the day he offered a $10,000 bet in this debate.  Talk about a window in to his out-of-touch soul.  And he did it in the same debate where he again called the payroll tax cut for the middle class a temporary band-aid.  You just can’t be more out of touch than Mitt Romney – and you can’t have a less understanding of what it’s like to be middle class.

The Huntsman campaign, as it happens, has also pounced on the comment and announced in an email that it purchased the URL


D.N.C. Attacks Romney Bet

What will everyone remember from the debate tonight?

Even before it was over, the Democratic National Committee sought to make sure that voters don't forget Mitt Romney's spontaneous offer to bet Rick Perry $10,000 on a dispute about what Mr. Romney had written in his book.

"Here's What the Average American Family Can Buy with $10,000," the D.N.C. said in an e-mail to reporters.

The email noted that $10,000 is more than four month's pay for most people in America, where the median income was $26,197 in 2010.

For Mr. Romney, the moment reinforces the problem he has had connecting with average people. (Mr. Romney is a multi-millionaire whose net worth is estimated at about $200 million.)

The moment recalled another earlier in the year, when Mr. Romney went looking in his wallet for a $1 bill for a boy who had donated a dollar folded into origami. The candidate at first only found a $100 bill and then dug deeper to find a $5 bill.

The particulars of the dispute with Mr. Perry tonight may not matter as much as the fact that he was so quick to bet such a large amount.

The D.N.C., at least, will be trying to make sure that's what everyone remembers.


MItt Romney’s $10,000 Bet Blows Up Twitter


Pundits and strategists on the left and right alike were united in their reaction to Mitt Romney’s $10,000 mid-debate bet with Rick Perry: expect to see it many, many, many more times if Romney wins the nomination.

“If Mitt is the nominee, we’ll see that ten-thousand dollar bet offer about ten thousand more times,” Josh Trevino of the Public Policy Foundation in Texas, which is close to Perry, tweeted

“Do you think Romney is carrying $10,000 with him right now? #whatsinyourwallet,” Democratic strategist Bill Burton tweeted.

“I’m doing an endzone dance on it,” tweeted Democratic strategist Matt Ortega.

The consensus seemed to be that Romney had given Democrats a big fat peg for yet another round of attacks on the candidate’s vast fortune.

You can already feel the $10k bet backfiring—will be one of the replayed moments from the debate,” The National Review’s Rich Lowry tweeted.

“How does Romney challenging Perry to a $10,000 bet fit into strategy of being champion of the middle class?” tweeted the Washington Examiner’s Phillip Klein.

“Not too many Iowa caucusgoers are the sort to offer a $10,000 bet, even on a sure thing,”tweeted Des Moines Register columnist Kathie Obradovich.

Watch the video of the moment:


Mitt Romney's $10,000 bet could come back to haunt him


Mitt Romney, the millionaire who has tried again and again to try to show voters that he’s just another everyday Joe, may have given his GOP rivals and President Obama a gold-plated gift in Saturday’s debate in Iowa.

While sparring with Rick Perry over healthcare at the debate in Des Moines, Romney challenged Perry to a wager. The stakes? A cool 10 grand.

That’s not exactly your typical bar bet.

Perry had accused Romney of altering a paperback version of his book to delete a line that had Romney wanting to make his Massachusetts healthcare plan a model for the rest of the nation, suggesting that Romney is a champion of an individual mandate to force people to purchase health insurance.

Romney said that wasn’t true.

“I'll tell you what. 10,000 bucks? Ten-thousand-dollar bet?” Romney said.

“I’m not in the betting business,” Perry replied.

Romney, who likes to talk about his work creating jobs as a venture capitalist in the private sector, is estimated to be worth between $190 million and $250 million.

Should he go on to win the Republican nomination, the clip from Saturday's debate may be replayed again and again in Democratic attack ads.

The reaction of former Obama White House aide Bill Burton to Romney's bet was typical. Burton now runs a Democratic "super PAC."

 "Not a lot of 99%'ers are out there making $10,000 bets," Burton wrote on Twitter.