“I was taken a little aback,” said Perry. “I’m driving out to the station this morning I’m pretty sure I didn’t drive by a house that anyone in Iowa would think a $10,000 bet was possible. It was a little out of touch with the normal Iowa citizen.”
During Saturday night’s debate, an agitated Romney extended his hand to Perry to seal a $10,000 bet that Perry was wrong in regards to his frequent claim that Romney has been inconsistent on his position on the individual health insurance mandate. It is unclear whether Romney was serious about the gesture, or simply emphasizing his confidence that the Texas governor was inaccurate in his claim. Either way, Perry responded that he is “not in the betting business,” and political commentators and opponents immeadiately jumped on Romney in regards to the bet, as further evidence that the millionaire former Massachusetts governor and financial services executive is out of touch with the financial struggles of many Americans.
The Romney campaign has looked to downplay the spur of the moment wager.
“I’ve made million dollar bets with my friends, and I think the reason that Mitt made that wager is because he knew that Rick Perry wouldn’t take it,” said Eric Fehrnstrom, a senior advisor to the Romney campaign, to the New York Times. “And he was right.”
Stuart Stevens, Romney’s chief strategist, told the Times “Perry’s gotten up there and has not told the truth, time and time again. He knows he’s not telling the truth. We finally got him to sort of shut up about it.”
Later on in the Fox News Sunday interview, Perry admitted that he did not have memorized all of the current Supreme Court judges. Perry elaborated that voters are “not looking for a robot that can spit out the name of every Supreme Court justice or the someone that’s going to be perfect in every way.”
“They’re looking for somebody who has got values that are based with a deep ruder in the water. And I am consistent in my conservative values and Americans are looking for someone who’s going to make the right decisions, not someone who can read a TelePrompter perfectly or spit out by memory a list of names. That’s not what’s important to Americans.”
What do you think of the bet? Do you agree with Rick Perry that the wager shows that Mitt Romney is out of touch with Iowans? Or do you think he was making an offhand gesture that has been overblown by rivals and the media?