Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney probably didn't bet on becoming the subject of ridicule and his very own Twitter hashtag when he offered rival Rick Perry a $10,000 wager during Saturday's televised Republican debate in Iowa.

During the debate on ABC News, Romney found himself sparring with Perry over his views on healthcare, with Perry insisting Romney had said in his book No Apologies that he wanted to impose a health insurance mandate at the federal level. Romney turned to Perry to bet cold cash that the Texas governor was wrong. “Rick, I'll tell you what, 10,000 bucks, $10,000 bet,” Romney said. “I'm not in the betting business,” Perry responded.

Romney later defended the egregiously large sum as commiserate with the outlandishness of Perry’s accusation. “[It was] an outrageous number to answer an outrageous charge,” he told Fox News, but by then his bet had lit up the blogosphere with cries that he is an out-of-touch elitist.

Romney's net worth is between $190 million and $250 million, according to his financial disclosure forms filed with the Federal Election Commission. In comparison, the average family in Iowa — where the first votes of the 2012 presidential election will occur next month — was $49,177 last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Romney’s $10,000 bet prompted a widely trending discussion topic, hashtag #what10Kbuys, full of reactions designed to teach Romney just how out of touch he is with the value of the American dollar. Here are just ten sample Tweets:

1. “Callista Gingrinch's daily jewelry allowance #What10kBuys” —Syd Lexia

2. “#What10kbuys – Not a lot of my confidence. Doesn't really send a positive message in regards to how he'll handle OTHER large sums of $.” —@Annettish

3. "I'll bet you a ride to St Barts on my Lear jet that I'm middle class." #Mittbets #What10Kbuys.” —Paul Begala

4. “#What10kbuys 24 pack of louie vuitton trash bags.” —Joshua Adams

5. “My '88 Honda Accord 11 times over #What10kbuys.” —Ricardo Ramírez

6. “I'll tell ya #What10kBuys in Texas. Enough sense to not bet 10k on national TV when you're tryin' to look like a man of the people.” —@TexasHumor

7. “#What10kbuys Hopefully I'll be a trophy wife one day and find out.” —@snglegrlprblms

8. "Does it matter that Mormons are not supposed to bet?” #What10KBuys.” —@BeccaGo

9. “More than 3,000 free lunches to hungry children in #NC schools #What10kBuys #notplaymoney.” —Lillian’s List of NC

10. “#What10kbuys round trip plane tickets from Alaska > Oregon.” —@Tyler503

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  • Matthew Zingg
    Matthew Zingg on

    I don't think this says anything about Romney being "out of touch," just that the republican debates have gotten incredibly boring and childish, and that the public will reach deep for something to clamor about. #politicsisstupid

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