But did Romney simply have a bad night? Or will the $10,000 bet continue to haunt him in the final three weeks before the Iowa caucuses? That depends on who you ask.
The Romney team is adamant that no harm has been done. Stuart Stevens, Romney’s lead ad maker, called the proposed bet a “very real moment” in which his candidate “back[ed] somebody down with a bluff bet.”
But Romney himself clearly had the bet on his mind on the campaign trail Sunday in New Hampshire, recounting that his wife told him after the debate that “there are a lot of things you do well...Betting isn’t one of them.”
And even as Romney and his team sought to downplay or downright dismiss the damage done by the $10,000 bet, there were plenty of signs that his rivals wouldn’t let him forget the gaffe any time soon.
Perry’s campaign put out a minute-long web video that repeatedly features Romney making the $10,000 bet comment while the words “one bet you can count on ... the truth isn’t for sale” appear on screen.
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