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

December 10, 2011|By James Oliphant
(Jeff Haynes/Reuters )

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.

And the Democratic National Committee quickly fired off a mass email titled: "What the Average American Family Can Buy With $10,000."


 

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