Monday, December 12, 2011

Bets on presidential race premature, risky

Good morning. Welcome to O-Pinion, the editorial board's daily blog. I'm associate editor Fannie Flono, your host for today.

So, everybody's still talking about that $10,000 bet that Mitt Romney made Texas Gov. Rick Perry during in the Iowa GOP presidential debate Saturday. Romney was challenging Perry on his assertion that Romney had said in the first edition of his book that he wanted to impose a health insurance mandate at the federal level.

Romney had a right to challenge Perry because Perry was apparently WRONG. Romney never said that in his book, "No Apology," according to The Associated Press and the nonpartisan Both say Perry is wrong., another nonpartisan fact-checking group, also said the claim inaccurate.

But that truth has gotten lost in the smoke surrounding Romney's tone-deaf, bizarre of-the-cuff bet. With most Americans struggling to make ends meet, some say the millionaire Romney seemed out of step with the plight of everyday citizens with his cavalier bet.

Both the Democratic National Committee and Perry have launched ads calling attention to the gaffe. "Romneycare - A losing bet for America," Perry's video says. Even Jon Huntsman, perennially low in polling among Republican rivals for the GOP nomination, got in the act by saying pointing to other instances where Romney praised health mandates. Huntsman’s campaign is also running a website called, with a main headline on Sunday afternoon that read, “Why Mitt Romney Owes Rick Perry $10,000.,” according to the Fiscal Times.

Romney's people say no harm was done, according to the Washington Post. They say Romney came off looking assertive for forcing Perry to back down from his charge.

Maybe. But Ronald Brownstein in the National Journal in an article titled the "Five Takeaways from Saturday's debate" said "the 'bet' could be a costly swagger."

Other takeaways? "Bachmann did herself the most good on Saturday night. It's unclear whether voters will accept her attempt to yoke together the two front-runners as 'Newt Romney' on immigration, health care and climate change, but she made a strong case that conservative true believers should not settle for either. "

As for the opponent the Republicans would face, President Barack Obama, polls continue to show he'll have a hard campaign ahead if voters views on the economy and his job performance are a gauge. The Rasmussen Poll on Monday showed just 33 percent rate Obama's handling of the economy as good or excellent; 48 percent rate Obama's handling of the economy as poor. Only 20 percent strongly approve of his performance as president; 39 percent disapprove.

Obama is trying to put the best face as he treks from place to place trying to sell his jobs package but even with all the ups and downs on the GOP side, this presidential race looks like it will come down to the wire next November unless the economy takes a big upswing.


Reality Check said...

Fantastic work at the Observer again...

How about actually telling people what the bet was about? No mention of the context, aside from how Rick Perry was WRONG about something. (I love it when a newspaper prints stories like a middle-school student, all caps for effect?)

Also, the proofreading is at its usual level: "Even Jon Huntsman, perennially low in polling among Republican rivals for the GOP nomination, got in the act by saying pointing to other instances where Romney praised health mandates."

"saying pointing," huh?

Wiley Coyote said...


All we care to know or hope to know is that Obama will be a one term President.

I could care less about who bet what with whom....

Diane Ross said...

I do care about Presidential Candidates going on National TV and presenting mis-facts and appreciate seeing what was truly said or done in the media. Whether Obama is a one-term Presidents is left to be seen. Meantime, the Republicans are falling all over themselves trying to emerge ahead of a former political abomination. Fascinating, to say the least.