Romney's wager comment in debate may have cost him, experts say

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Every comment in last night's debate is being dissected, and one impromptu comment made by GOP candidate Mitt Romney may have hurt him.

It was during a back-and-forth between Texas Governor Rick Perry and Romney. He told Perry that he would bet $10,000 after a comment made by Perry about his position on health insurance. Some in the blogosphere call it a "10,000 unforced error" and that his wager of such a large sum may have hindered people's ability to relate to him as someone who understands the average American.

Still, Romney remains in the top two major candidates. And as fellow-frontrunner Newt Gingrich surges to the top of many polls, Romney is scoring a major endorsement Sunday. In one of the final holdouts in New Hampshire, Romney secured the endorsement of Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, just in time for the New Hampshire primary, which takes place in January. Four years ago, Gatsas chose John McCain over Romney.

But Gatsas tells NBC News Romney's 25 years in the private sector gives him the experience needed to balance budgets and create jobs.

Monday, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman has a chance to shine with some free media coverage of his so-called Lincoln-Douglas debate with Gingrich. Just the two of them will be debating in New Hampshire. Huntsman is in fourth place in New Hampshire --a state in which he must do well. *Email:*

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John Daley


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