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Romney Breaks Mormon Beliefs With Perry Gambling Offer

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has pinned much of his early campaign on the idea that his Morman beliefs would carry him to victory. Over the weekend, Romney broke from those Morman beliefs when he offered up a gambling proposition to fellow candidate Rick Perry.

Romney offered a bet of $10,000 during his debate on Saturday after disputing whether or not he had called for a national individual mandate in the 2010 book No Apology. The subject has been a source of contention between Romney and Perry on the campaign trail.

By Monday morning, Romney had backtracked on whether the bet offer was real or not. The media and political analysts hammered Romney for deviating from his Mormon beliefs, which led to Romney claiming that the $10,000 was just some random outrageous number that he threw out there during the debate.

Not everyone was accepting of that explanation, with Mormon groups coming out and saying that even the thought of proposing a bet goes against everything that is believed by the Mormon faith. Gambling is considered an evil by the Mormons, with the idea being that those who gambler are searching to receive things for free.

Analysts from all across the spectrum have been critical of Romney's proposition, even gambling addiction expert Timothy Fong, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital. Fong told The Hill on Monday that he was concerned about Romney throwing out the $10,000 figure at a time when the country is financially struggling.

Romney is currently in a battle with Newt Gingrich for the GOP nomination. Recent polls show Gingrich as the current leader, with Romney a close second. Perry has fallen out of favor with many Conservatives over the past couple of months, leaving Gingrich and Romney to focus their efforts more on each other than Perry.

The polls have also shown that Gingrich stands up better against President Obama, although Obama is leading in most of the major polls. Over the next year, the economy will be the most determining factor in whether Americans have the confidence to give the president another four years. Obama has already started campaigning, with several speeches aimed at attacking the Conservatives' hard stance on many of the pressing issues.

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