December 11, 2011

Romney's comment: It's not a gaffe, but it's not good.

Via ABC, Mitt Romney in last night's debate offered up his second not-ready-for-prime-time moment by  offering to make a $10,000 bet with Rick Perry.  He was just trying to make a point about his conviction on his  point about his health care position.  But after his previous faux pas in an earlier debate (regarding his lawn care company hiring an illegal alien, and him being concerned because he was running for office), this doesn't help Mitt.


Offering to bet isn't a smart thing to do during a presidential debate.  It's not a gaffe in the sense that he's done something illegal (some would say it's immoral), especially since it's pretty easy to argue he was using it to make a point and wasn't serious about betting.  But it's playground politics.  My dad can beat up your dad.  It's not presidential timbre.

Michele Bachmann's camp jumped all over it and pointed out the other reason it was not a good move - it can come across (if you don't buy Romney's defense) as being out of touch with regular people:
“For someone to go and throw around a $10,000 bet, just goes to show even more that he’s not the same level as the people of Iowa or the country,” said Michele Bachmann’s spokeswoman Alice Stewart.
One concern it raises for me is the debating skills. Previously I felt that Romney would fare pretty well in a debate against Obama.  Mitt's not my choice but I felt that if he were the nominee, he'd hold his own in a head-to-head debate versus Obama.  Now I'm less sure, and if you take away Romney's claim to being most electable, what's he left with?

EXIT QUESTION: Did anyone else think this?

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