If you’d have bet someone that Rick Perry would have a good debate in Iowa on Saturday, you’d be richer now . . . though probably not $10,000 richer.
That’s the steep amount Mitt Romney tried to wager at the ABC News/Yahoo! debate in Des Moines when Perry accused Romney of deleting language from an earlier version of his book No Apologies recommending that his state’s policy of individual mandates should be the model for a federal system.
After a bit of back-and-forth about the issue, a defensive Romney said, “Rick, I’ll tell you what. 10,000 bucks? $10,000 bet?”
Romney’s campaign would later say the high amount was an expression of just how sure their guy was he would win, not an indicator of his PayPal balance.
“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,” Romney advisor Eric Fehrnstrom told the New York Times.
Perry got some unexpected backup from former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman—whose standing in Iowa is so low that he wasn’t even present in Des Moines on Saturday—when Huntsman’s campaign quickly put up a website called $10K Bet: Why Mitt Romney Owes Rick Perry $10,000.
The Perry campaign also came out with their own rapid response:
As the commentators in Perry’s ad observe, $10,000 would be three months income for the average American family.
Appearing on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, Perry said the $10,000 bet was “a little out of touch.” That remark prompted Austinite Jordan Stewart to retort, on Twitter, “So is the 10K/month rent Texans pay for #rickperry’s mansion,” a reference to upkeep for the private Austin residence the Perrys have been living in due to the multi-year repair and renovation of the Governor’s Mansion.