Democrats and Republicans alike have accused US presidential hopeful Mitt Romney of being out of touch with ordinary Americans after he said he would make a 10,000-dollar bet with party rival Rick Perry.
Republican Mr Romney did not back away from the comment, made during a TV debate on Sunday - but said he had been told he was not a good gambler.
He said his wife told him after the debate he had done a good job and did many things well, but "betting isn't one of them".
Mr Romney's Republican rivals and Democrats used his remark to portray him as out of step with the concerns of most normal Americans.
They say 10,000 dollars (£6,400) represents more than three months' salary for most people.
Texas governor Mr Perry said that kind of money was "pocket change" for Mr Romney.