Romney’s $10?000 bet to rival candidate could hurt his chances

Mitt Romney was accused of being out of touch with working-class Americans last weekend, after the Republican presidential candidate tried to make an impromptu $10 000 bet during a television debate.

The slip, at a time of high unemployment and a growing poverty divide, could damage Romney three weeks before the first of the Republican contests in Iowa.

His critics said the issue was not that he offered the bet, but the size of it, consolidating Romney’s reputation as a very rich man seeking to buy his way to power.

The gaffe came when a rival candidate, Texas governor Rick Perry, claimed Romney had supported national healthcare reform in a passage in his book that was excised from the paperback edition. Romney, who brought in healthcare reform in Massachusetts that was similar to Barack Obama’s, in a move unpopular with conservatives, denied the passage had been in the first edition.

“Rick, I’ll tell you what: 10 000 bucks? Ten thousand bet?” Romney said, extending his hand to shake. Perry declined.

Bill Burton, who is helping to organise Obama’s re-election campaign, wrote on Twitter: “Not a lot of 99%-ers are out there making $10 000 bets.”

Polls show that two-thirds of Republicans are undecided on who to support. Last Friday a poll gave Newt Gingrich double-digit leads in South Carolina and Florida.

Gingrich, as frontrunner, was the main target in last Saturday night’s debate in Des Moines, Iowa. During the debate Gingrich stood by his controversial statement on Friday that the Palestinians were an invented people. “These people are terrorists,” he said. “They teach terrorism in their schools.”

Ghassan Khatib, a Palestinian Authority official, said: “America is already suffering from criticism of not being impartial. Such an extreme position from a presidential candidate only adds to this perception.” —

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Ewen Macaskill
Guest Author

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Three ‘gringos’ brave heat, mosquitos, illegal gold miners and pirates...

A Wits University accounting professor has returned from his Amazon expedition he undertook to fight climate change

Fintech firms ramp up investments in Kenya’s microfinance space

Kenya’s microfinance banks are the target of fintech firms from abroad seeking to sidestep stringent regulatory perimeters for digital lenders

Harbour views at 9th Avenue Waterside

The award-winning eatery, which offers fine wines and food, is on stilts at Durban’s harbour

Zimbabwe hospital workers plot stillbirth burials

The policy is to cremate deceased infants but Bulawayo Hospital’s incinerators are not working
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×