When Mother Jones released the video clips of Mitt Romney speaking at a private fundraiser yesterday, it reported that this was the “complete” audio and video of his comments. But now it turns out there was actually a chunk of the speech missing. Legal Insurrection’s William Jacobson first noticed the gap in the video last night:
David Corn of Mother Jones released the “complete” audio and video of the secretly recorded Mitt Romney speech at a private fundraiser.
Yet the complete audio and video is not complete. There is a gap in the recording immediately after Romney’s now famous discussion of the 47% of voters who don’t pay taxes. The cut in the audio and video comes while Romney is in mid-sentence, so we actually do not have the full audio of what Romney said on the subject.
Something is missing. Romney’s 47% answer was cut off before completed, and is not picked up on the Part 2 audio video.
Jacobson contacted Mother Jones reporter David Corn, who acknowledged that a one-to-two minute part of the speech was missing from the initial recording, apparently due to technical issues:
According to the source, the recording device inadvertently turned off. The source noticed this quickly and turned it back one. The source estimates that one to two minutes, maybe less, of recording was missed.
At the very least, this seems to bolster the Romney campaign’s pushback against the video. Romney initially criticized it as just a “snippet” of his comments, and called for the release of the full tape. According to Corn, that’s not possible since his source was only able to capture a partial recording.
Was there anything in the unrecorded speech that would have vindicated Romney? It’s possible. But it’s hard to imagine what could change the meaning of the comments leading up to the gap in the video, particularly Romney’s psychoanalysis of the 47 percent “victims” and his seemingly-cavalier statement that he’ll “never convince them that they should take responsibility and care for their own lives.” Unless one of the omitted sentences was “Just kidding about everything I said earlier, guys,” how would it negate his previous remarks?
Lesson for campaigns: Record your own events. If there actually was more context to what Romney was saying, his campaign could have cleared that up immediately if it had a tape of its own.
If the mainstream media was fair, it would dismiss the Romney video as meaningless without the missing context — something it would surely have done if damaging but incomplete footage of an Obama fundraiser was leaked to Breitbart. Of course, the mainstream media isn’t fair, which is why the Romney tape is hotter news than the terrorist attack in Benghazi last week.