Most Americans these days can barely afford a friendly wager of $5 but Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who has claimed he's part of the middle class, tried to bet fellow-candidate Rick Perry $10,000 Saturday night.

During ABC's debate at Drake University in Iowa, Perry noted that Romney had suggested in his book that the health insurance mandate he signed into law as the governor of Massachusetts should be the model for the country.

"You know what?" Romney replied. "You've raised that before, Rick."

"It was true then," Perry interrupted.

"I'll tell you what, 10,000 bucks?" Romney asked, holding out his hand to seal the deal. "Ten thousand dollar bet?"

"I'm not in the betting business," Perry declared.

In June, Romney told a group of unemployed people in Florida that he was “also unemployed.”

Returning to Florida in September, the candidate claimed that he was part of the middle class.

Romney told a group of workers at a steel plant in November that federal employees made more than he did.

The former Massachusetts governor has a net worth estimated at up to $250 million.

Watch this video from ABC News, broadcast Dec. 10, 2011.