London Telegraph 
December 11, 2011
Mitt Romney, the embattled favourite for the Republican presidential nomination, was accused of being out of touch with ordinary Americans after casually betting Rick Perry $10,000 (£6,400) over a policy dispute.
The former Governor of Massachusetts, who is thought to have amassed a personal fortune of about $250 million (£160 million) as a private equity executive, offered to pay Rick Perry the money if he could prove that Mr Romney once favoured forcing people to buy health insurance.
“You’re simply wrong, Rick,” Mr Romney said, during a debate in Des Moines, Iowa. “I’ll tell you what,” he added, offering his hand. “Ten-thousand bucks? A ten-thousand dollar bet?” Mr Perry replied: “I’m not in the betting business.”
The comment came amid an accomplished performance from Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker who has surged 13 percentage points ahead of Mr Romney in Iowa, the first state to vote in the contest next month, and who came under sustained fire from his rivals throughout the night.