Perry Defends Attack on Romney, Individual Mandate

Sunday, 11 Dec 2011 11:40 AM

By Amy Woods

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Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry is defending his comments during Saturday night's debate about rival Mitt Romney's advocacy of individual mandates for healthcare.

During the debate in Des Moines, Iowa, Perry said clearly backed the mandates in the healthcare reforms during his term as Massachusetts governor and in his book “No Apologies.”

Romney responded by saying the Texas governor was mistaken and offering a $10,000 wager to settle the issue, to which Perry replied that he's not in the betting business.

“Driving out to the station this morning, I’m pretty sure I didn’t drive by a house that anyone in Iowa would even think about that a $10,000 bet was possible,” Perry told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace today.

Perry also defended his religion-themed ad running in Iowa, where campaigns are ramping up for the first-in-the-nation caucus on Jan. 3.

“Faith is a major party of who I am,” he said, adding, “clearly, this administration's values are different than, I would suggest, certainly the people of Iowa.”

In the ad, Perry contrasts what he says are contradictory positions that gays can serve openly in the military, while children are not allowed to pray in school.

“I would support a constitutional amendment that allows our children to pray in school anytime that they'd like,” he said.

Perry also defended his most recent gaffe in which he said there are eight Supreme Court justices and stumbled over Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s name. He acknowledged that he hasn’t memorized all nine of the justices’ names.

"They're not looking for a robot that can spit out the name of every Supreme Court justice, or that someone that's going to be perfect in every way," he told Wallace.

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