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Mitt Romney's $10,000 Bet Stirs Debate in Iowa

Mitt Romney has caused a stir by betting Rick Perry $10,000 during a debate in Iowa.

The bet was made over Romney’s support for the individual healthcare mandate. Candidate Rick Perry stated that Romney had said he supported the mandate in his book "No Apologies."

Romney challenged him, saying, “Rick, I’ll tell you what: 10,000 bucks?”

Perry responded, “I’m not in the betting business, but I’ll show you the book.”

Many critics say that Romney’s wager has hurt his campaign. The economy is in a recession, and many families are struggling to make ends meet. Ten thousand dollars is the equivalent of three months’ work, with the average family making $49,445, according to the Census Bureau.

Another problem with Romney’s bet is that goes against the teaching of the Mormon Church, which he is a member of. According to its website, “Church leaders have encouraged Church members to join with others in opposing the legalization and government sponsorship of any form of gambling.”

The Democratic National Committee offered this statement: “Romney, a millionaire 200 times over, had the most out-of-touch moment in any debate so far-offering to bet Rick Perry $10,000 as casually as if it’s something he does all the time.”

In response to Romney's exchange with Perry, Romney’s website now features an article entitled “Rick Perry has a problem with the truth.” He offers the facts of his book versus the statements made by Perry. Romney also compiles statements made by the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler that support his stance and view on healthcare.

The Romney campaign is standing by Romney’s statement and is saying Perry backed down from the argument because he knew he was wrong.

Perry told “The New York Times," “Having an extra $10,000 that you would throw down on a bet just seems very out of the ordinary.”

According to Romney, wife Ann told him after the debate, “There are many things you do well. Betting is not one of them.”

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