Democrats are seizing on Mitt Romney’s $10,000 debate wager and using it as part of a broader narrative to cast him as out of touch with middle-class America.
“We have to make sure that people understand that Mitt Romney, who says one thing, and then on another day says another, is really out of touch,” said Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) Monday on Fox News. “He called the payroll tax cut of $1,500 for working families a little Band-Aid. I mean, he said that corporations are people. He casually threw out a $10,000 bet the other night like it’s one dollar or five dollars for other people, and this is a person who really doesn’t understand what’s going on in middle-class America.”
At Saturday’s GOP presidential debate, Romney said he would support the payroll tax cut, but said that it wasn’t enough to buoy the economy, calling it “a temporary little Band-Aid.”
Romney has argued that he only implemented the Massachusetts healthcare plan while he was governor because it was the best thing for his state, but that he wouldn’t have forced it on the country as a whole.
On Monday, Romney defended the bet, although he admitted that it wasn’t a great strategic move.
“This was an outrageous number to an outrageous charge from him,” he told "Fox and Friends." “It’s been proven wrong time and time again and he keeps raising it. I said, 'OK, let’s put something outrageous out there.' It’s like saying, 'Hey, I’ll bet you a million bucks X, Y or Z.' "
Perry over the weekend also called the bet “a little out of touch with the normal Iowa citizen.”
“Afterwards my wife came up to me and she said, 'Mitt, it was a great debate,' " Romney continued. " 'You’re great at a lot of things, just not betting,' so we’re over with that.”