Romney Dismisses $10K Debate Bet, Criticizes Obama

December 12, 2011 - 9:26 AM

debate

Republican presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry gestures as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney listen at a Republican presidential debate in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Mitt Romney is dismissing his offer to make a $10,000 bet with Rick Perry as merely "an outrageous number to answer an outrageous charge" — namely, Perry's claim that Romney made changes to parts of his book.

Romney said Monday he made the offer in the weekend GOP presidential debate because Perry erroneously claimed that he deleted parts of his book, "No Apology" that referred to Romney's support for a health care mandate.

Romney told Fox News his bet offer was meaningless hyperbole, akin to saying "I'll bet you a million bucks."

The bet sparked charges that Romney, a wealthy businessman, is out of step with economic challenges facing ordinary Americans.

Romney said what the American people are tired of is President Barack Obama deflecting blame for his failed economic policies.