If you haven’t heard yet, in Saturday night’s debate wherein a former Nixon Administration staffer and a Clinton Administration apparatchik un-ironically asked questions to Republicans pretending to be without bias (though Diane Sawyer was on cough syrup or something and it showed), Mitt Romney bet Rick Perry $10,000.00 that Romney had not changed something in his book.
Some Republicans are beating their chests over this claiming the Republicans critical of Romney are falling into Democrat like class warfare.
We are not. We’re just noting it is tacky.
To be fair, had Romney bet Rick Perry ten dollars, the media would be pointing out he could have bet ten thousand. The point, however, is that to offer the bet to a man who grew up without indoor plumbing and whose wife has to work to help pay their kids’ way through college is more than a bit tacky.
Further, it reaffirms a Democratic narrative about Mitt Romney that he is a graceless rich guy who has nothing in common with common people.
Common people may bet something, but it comes in one of three varieties:
- I bet you X happens with no value attached, which is a common figure of speech;
- I bet you X happens with a hyperbolic value attached like a billion dollars or winning Iowa, which is often used to highlight the preposterous claim being bet against; or,
- I bet you X happens with a reasonable monetary sum, which highlights the reasonableness of both claims and a dispute.
For a rich guy $10,000.00 is not hyperbolic, but for a poor guy it is. It is, in and of itself, rather classless for Romney to do and now the Democrats and plenty of Republicans will seize on it as just another example of how out of touch he is.
But frankly, I think the point everyone is missing is that Mitt Romney’s campaign has reaffirmed Romney’s bet to Rick Perry. They are serious and this raises a serious problem that feeds into a pre-existing perception of Mitt Romney.
Mormons do not bet. So now it seems Romney is even willing to treat his faith lightly for personal, political advance.