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Friday, October 5, 2012

We're just asking...Did Romney Cheat?

BREAKING NEWS: (not really) Did Mitt Romney "CHEAT" at the debate Wednesday night in Denver? Political Chaos reports...you decide

“Some people” think so. We’re not suggesting he did, we’re just asking the question.

Now that the debate hype has died down, the careful analysis of the candidates’ performances has come full swing. One set of watchful eyes, however has uncovered a potential bombshell just seconds into the video of the debate. Did Mitt Romney use crib notes? His campaign says it was a handkerchief.

Daily Kos published the story last night and if true, the political ramifications could be huge for Mitt Romney who walked out of Denver on a high note being credited almost unanimously with a win for his energetic performance, despite being shown to have been factually inaccurate and inconsistent with his own previously stated positions on many issues. See for yourself this damaging evidence and you decide.

Roughly nine seconds into the video, as Romney walks around the front of the podium to take his position, he places his right hand into his front pants pocket and removes a small, white square which he promptly tosses on to the podium. During this opening minute the camera moves back and forth between the two men. Later in the debate, during the discussion about partisan politics, Romney is seen wiping his upper lip with this hanky, so the object has indeed been verified.

Though not to be missed, during this first minute of set up time as Lehrer speaks, at those times when camera is on Romney his hands are on the podium moving the object around. If it is indeed a handkerchief this might make sense if he is folding or unfolding it for some reason. But the camera also observes him looking down at the podium twice for several seconds as if reviewing something in front of him. 

Critics say unless he was admiring the monogram on the cloth, the only other items on the desk were a pen and blank paper provided by the Commission. So what was he looking at? You can review the video for yourself, he is clearly reading something on the podium which should have nothing besides a pen and pad. See for yourself, watch up to the one minute mark and you decide.

Some people say that as the object falls from Romney’s hand, it remains in a flat shape and seems to hit the podium with considerable weight. Those who embrace the “crib notes” theory contend that a silk or cloth “hanky” would not hold its shape so rigidly. The theory being floated online is that Romney may have had a stack of note cards wrapped up in the “prop” handkerchief. Given Romney's surprisingly coherent performance, some wonder how he could have pulled it off without crib notes.

As stated the Romney campaign dismissed this out of hand, yet the question lingers. Thus far the Commission on Presidential Debates, who sponsored has not released the exact rules on Wednesday night’s event, however the rules from the 2004 state 
No props, notes, charts, diagrams, or other writings or other tangible things may be brought into the debate by any candidate." The candidate can take notes, but only on a pad provided by commission staff.
Given the standard set by the Commission, what exactly was the hanky doing there in the first place? Some people suggest that in itself is a violation of the rules that compounds Romney's disregard for the debate rules when coupled with his overtly aggressive behavior interrupting the moderator and talking over his opponent. We're not suggesting this was a rules violation, we're just asking the question.

In the end the consensus among all but the most left-wing bloggers agrees with was just an innocent handkerchief used to wipe the sweat from Mitt’s upper lip. USNews.com even had a forensic video analyst review the footage to confirm it.

And much like the folks at Fox News, I’m not saying he had crib notes with him, I’m just asking the question…


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